Former anti-graft leader targets police in pretrial suit

Former anti-graft leader targets police in pretrial suit

JAKARTA - Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto has filed a pretrial motion at the South Jakarta District Court, challenging National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti and detective division chief Comr.

Gen. Budi Waseso's decision to name him a suspect in January, his lawyer confirmed on Sunday.

The lawyer, Zulfickar Hajar, said the decision was taken following a recent verdict by the Constitutional Court allowing citizens to use pretrial hearings to challenge legal allegations levied against them, a move that was previously considered to be against the Criminal Law Procedures Code (KUHAP).

Zulfickar said he had filed the petition on May 7 and was waiting for the court to issue a schedule for the hearing.

"In addition to the suspect status, Pak Bambang also wants to challenge his arrest as well as the police's move to conduct a physical raid on him," Fickar said on Sunday.

Bambang, as well as former KPK chairman Abraham Samad, faced prosecution days after they decided to name Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan, now National Police deputy chief, a suspect in a bribery case, on Jan. 13.

Fickar said he was upbeat that the judge would rule in favour of Bambang as it was clear that the police's move against the former lawyer in a perjury case dating back to 2010, one year before he assumed his KPK position, was not pure law enforcement but an attempt to take revenge against the decision to name Budi a suspect.

On Jan. 19, the police received a report from a member of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), a political party with links to Budi. It took the police four days to proceed with the report before arresting and naming Bambang a suspect in the case on Jan. 23.

On Jan. 26, Badrodin, who at that time served as National Police deputy chief, sent a formal letter to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo regarding Bambang's suspect status, a move that led Jokowi to suspend Bambang from his post as KPK commissioner.

"If we look at the chronology it can be seen that it was not pure legal enforcement. There was an intention to criminalize the KPK, especially Pak Bambang," Fickar said.

Separately, Abraham's lawyer, Dadang Trisasongko, said the former KPK commissioner had also considered filing the same petition challenging the police decision to name him a suspect in a forgery case, which temporarily toppled him from his chairmanship at the KPK.

On Feb. 17, the South and West Sulawesi Police named Abraham a suspect for illegally listing a woman identified as Ferriyani Lim on his family ID to help her obtain a passport in Makassar in 2007, four years before he was sworn-in as KPK chairman in 2011.

"We're still discussing the options with other lawyers in our team," Dadang said, adding that the team was deciding whether to file the petition with district courts in Makassar or South Jakarta.

According to Dadang, the move depended on whether the team wanted to challenge the South and West Sulawesi Police or the National Police.

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