Agence France Presse

Jakarta, March 30:

A man facing trial for a double murder shot himself today in a fight with the driver of a prison van as he tried to escape on the way to court.Gunawan Santoso, who had acquired a gun, shot himself when the driver kicked him as he tried to escape in a traffic jam, said Jakarta police spokesman Prasetyo. He was being treated in hospital.

Santoso was travelling without an escort in the van from Jakarta’s Salemba prison, Prasetyo said.“We are trying to find out why he had $4,000, a gun in his hand and two sets of handcuffs,” Prasetyo said on Elshinta radio. Jakarta detective chief, Chief Commissioner Mathius Salempang, said they are investigating whether Santoso received help from someone inside the prison. “He is still under treatment in hospital and refusing to talk to us. We’ll get to the bottom of this problem,” Salempang told AFP. No immediate comment was available from the prison.

Santoso is on trial for ordering the murder last year of Budi Angsana, a company president who was also his father-in-law, and of Angsana’s bodyguard.Angsana had fired Santoso as the director of one of his companies.