Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Dunster Evicts Tutor

Crimson Staff Writer
Harvard Crimson

Andreas Harsono, a Nieman fellow, has been asked to leave his Dunster House residence after being arrested on charges of domestic assault and battery against his wife last Tuesday.

Harsono received a letter Saturday from Dunster House Master Karel Liem directing him to leave the House within seven days.

"I think this is a very unfortunate matter. All I can say is that Andreas and his wife are trying to deal with it the best they can," said Bill Kovach, the Nieman Foundation curator.

The Cambridge Police Department received a 911 call at 12:40 a.m on Jan. 4 and the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) responded.

Harsono and his wife, Retno, had been arguing when Harsono struck his wife. Andreas Harsono said he then called 911.

Harsono's wife was transferred to Mt. Auburn Hospital where she stayed overnight.

She was treated for a large welt on her left temple, pain in the left shoulder and dizziness, according to HUPD Spokesperson Peggy A. McNamara.

Harsono was arrested on the scene and transferred to Middlesex County Jail. His wife posted the $1,025 bail the following day.

Kovach expressed surprise at the incident.

"If you had to pick out one type of person, you'd never think Andreas," he said. "We feel pretty confident that this was an isolated incident."

Kovach said the couple, married for five years, was going to undergo marriage counseling.

Harsono, a freelance journalist from Jakarta, Indonesia, said he had no excuse for his actions.

"It's wrong to beat your wife. It never should have happened," he said. "There's nothing that justifies what I did."

He said the couple will try to move into a Cambridge apartment after they leave their Dunster House residence.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is bringing criminal charges against Harsono and a pre-trial hearing is set for Feb. 1.

The Nieman fellow has previously written for Tempo, a newspaper based out of Jakarta, before it was shut down.

He was also a colleague of the Dutch journalist killed in East Timor last fall.

Before accepting the Nieman fellowship, Harsono was writing for The Nation, a Bangkok, Thailand paper.

-- Garrett M. Graff contributed to the reporting of this article.

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