KPK braces for fiercer at­tacks

The Jakarta Post - - FRONT PAGE - Mar­guerite Afra Sapiie

The be­lea­guered Cor­rup­tion Erad­i­ca­tion Com­mis­sion (KPK) has upped the ante against sea­soned politi­cian Setya No­vanto, as he in turn launched le­gal ma­neu­vers aimed at send­ing the anti­graft body’s lead­ers to jail.

The KPK an­nounced on Fri­day it had, for the sec­ond time, named House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Speaker Setya, who is also Golkar Party chair­man, a sus­pect in the high-pro­file graft case sur­round­ing the na­tional elec­tronic ID pro­gram, which it is es­ti­mated to have caused state losses of Rp 2.3 tril­lion (US$170 mil­lion).

“Af­ter con­duct­ing an ex­am­i­na­tion, find­ing suf­fi­cient pre­lim­i­nary ev­i­dence and hold­ing a case screen­ing, the KPK has de­cided to is­sue a sprindik [a let­ter or­der­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion] on Oct. 31 on the sus­pect SN,” KPK deputy chair­man Saut Si­tu­morang told a press con­fer­ence at the KPK head­quar­ters in South Jakarta on Fri­day, re­fer­ring to Setya.

Hours ear­lier, Pres­i­dent Joko “Jokowi” Wi­dodo, who has pre­vi­ously avoided com­ment­ing on the case, made a rare move by warn­ing the Na­tional Po­lice not to pros­e­cute KPK lead­ers if there was not suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to jus­tify such a move.

Jokowi’s state­ment was viewed as a morale boost for the KPK, which could see chair­man Agus Ra­harjo and his deputy Saut sus­pended fol­low­ing a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a re­port by one of Setya’s lawyers.

The po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that Agus and Saut fal­si­fied doc­u­ments sur­round­ing a travel ban re­quest the KPK sent to the im­mi­gra­tion of­fice against Setya in the lat­ter’s ca­pac­ity as a wit­ness in the e-ID graft case.

“We can­not af­ford to have [pros­e­cu­tions] with­out ev­i­dence and facts,” Jokowi told re­porters at Halim Per­dakusuma Air Force Base in East Jakarta shortly be­fore fly­ing to Viet­nam, com­ment­ing on the po­lice’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The state­ment came one day af­ter the Na­tional Po­lice chief Gen. Tito Kar­na­vian con­firmed that the po­lice had be­gun to probe Agus and Saut, but claimed that the two had not been named sus­pects yet.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2002 KPK Law, any KPK leader who is named a sus­pect shall be sus­pended from his or her po­si­tion.

Setya’s lawyer has also re­ported the KPK’s di­rec­tor of in­ves­ti­ga­tion Brig. Gen. Aris Budi­man and 24 in­ves­ti­ga­tors to the po­lice, but it is not known whether the po­lice are also prob­ing them.

When asked about Jokowi’s warn­ing against the crim­i­nal­iza­tion of KPK lead­ers, the Na­tional Po­lice’s Insp. Gen. Se­tyo Wa­sisto said the po­lice would com­ply. “We will fol­low [the in­struc­tion] be­cause the Pres­i­dent is the high­est leader [of the coun­try],” Se­tyo told The Jakarta Post.

Separately, Saut said the Pres­i­dent’s signal of sup­port for the KPK was in line with the Jokowi ad­min­is­tra­tion’s an­ti­cor­rup­tion agenda.

Ac­cord­ing to Saut, the let­ter to re­quest a travel ban against Setya was signed by five lead­ers of the anti­graft body. The is­suance was also in line with the 2002 KPK Law.

Saut added that he would ac­cept it if he was named a sus­pect. “It’s okay. It’s part of the an­ti­cor­rup­tion strug­gle […] If the ev­i­dence can prove that we should be named sus­pects, then sim­ply prove it,” Saut said.

In re­sponse to the KPK’s lat­est move, Setya’s lawyer Fredrich Yu­nadi went to the Na­tional Po­lice’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion De­part- ment in Jakarta to make a re­port against Saut.

“The KPK is in con­tempt of court,” Fredrich told the Post, adding that he ac­cused the KPK of hav­ing vi­o­lated Ar­ti­cle 414 of the Crim­i­nal Code on de­fy­ing court rul­ings.

Fredrich said he would also file an­other pre­trial mo­tion against the KPK’s de­ci­sion to re­name Setya a sus­pect in the e-ID case.

On Sept. 29, the South Jakarta District Court ap­proved Setya’s pre­trial mo­tion and an­nulled his sus­pect sta­tus in the case.

KPK spokesper­son Fe­bri Dian­syah said the anti­graft body would stand ready to face a fur­ther le­gal bat­tle should Setya launch an­other pre­trial mo­tion.

“The KPK will con­tinue in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­leged roles of [Setya] and other par­ties [...] We plan to sum­mon wit­nesses,” Fe­bri said on Fri­day.

Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional In­done­sia sec­re­tary-gen­eral Dadang Trisas­ongko urged the KPK to ac­cel­er­ate the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Setya in a bid to pre­vent Setya from dodg­ing pros­e­cu­tion again. The KPK should learn from the first pre­trial rul­ing that, he al­leged, let Setya off the hook.

“This a cru­cial op­por­tu­nity for the KPK to prove its cred­i­bil­ity and per­for­mance,” he said.

Jokowi warns po­lice not to probe KPK lead­ers with­out ev­i­dence KPK names Setya sus­pect in e-ID graft case for sec­ond time

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