Police’s charges against anti-graft commission unclear

Police’s charges against anti-graft commission unclear
This photo taken on February 3, 2015 shows deputy chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Bambang Widjojanto (3rd R), being escorted by police as they emerge from an investigation at Jakarta police headquarters.

JAKARTA - The National Police have continued to fire a barrage of charges against suspended Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) leaders Abraham Samad and Bambang Widjojanto, who helped prevent Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan from becoming the top cop.

Bambang's lawyer team found that the police have conducted "irregular" investigations on Bambang, including adding charges against him in every summons. The police have also refused to give him a copy of his dossiers.

Bambang came to the National Police headquarters on Tuesday to deliver two formal letters intending to seek clarification regarding the police's moves; but he did not receive a clear response, prompting him to refuse to attend a questioning session scheduled that day.

"It is interesting, as today is my third questioning session for the case and every time I am summoned the article slapped on me is different. As a suspect, I have the right to receive clarification about it, how can I defend myself in such a situation?" he asked.

The suspended KPK deputy chairman said police investigators had violated Article 72 of the Criminal Law Procedures Code (KUHAP) that ordered the police to provide a copy of dossiers in the first and second interrogation.

"In the previous questioning, they said that there were no more questioning sessions for me in the future, but I was surprised that there was one more today," he said.

Bambang was charged with Article 55 and Article 242 on perjury of the Criminal Code when he was arrested on Jan. 22 in relation to his role as a lawyer during an election dispute in West Kotawaringin in 2010. However, his first summons letter mentioned Article 242 Point 1 in conjunction with Article 55 Point 1, narrowing his alleged role as the mastermind of the perjury case. In the second summons, the police added Article 56 of the KUHAP, accusing him of being an accomplice.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo dropped the nomination of Budi after the antigraft body, under the leadership of Abraham, Bambang and two other commissioners, declared the Police Education Institute (Lemdikpol) director a suspect in a bribery case. A pretrial ruling to drop Budi's suspect status does not affect the President's decision to replace him with National Police deputy chairman Comr. Gen. Badrodin Haiti, who is now awaiting approval from the House of Representatives.

In Makassar, the police grilled Abraham for allegedly helping falsify documents to help a woman identified as Feriyani Lim get a passport in 2007, four years before Abraham became KPK chairman.

The police questioned Abraham for one and a half hours, requiring him to return again for further questioning the following week. The police denied that they tried to buy time in investigating Abraham, who flew from Jakarta to Makassar on Tuesday.

"At the fifteenth question, [Abraham] felt unwell, which forced investigators to stop the interrogation," South Sulawesi Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Endi Sutendi said.

Abraham faces eight years behind bars for allegedly violating Article 262 of the KUHAP on forgery for including Feriyani on his family card in Makassar for her to be able to apply for a passport while in fact they did not have any family relations.

Observers saw that Abraham's case was not worth going to trial for and the charge against him was doctored to prevent him from stepping up investigations into the Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance (BLBI) scandal, which could implicate President Jokowi's patron Megawati Soekarnoputri, the chief of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

The National Police also said they had stepped up investigations into KPK senior investigator Novel Baswedan in an assault case, which was stopped in 2012, but reopened recently following tense relations between the two institutions.

A police detective who handles Bambang's case, Sr. Comr. Daniel Bolly Tifaona, said Bambang's refusal was an act of deviance and the police would issue another summons for him on Friday. He said police investigators refused to give a copy of dossiers to Bambang because they feared that Bambang and his team of lawyers would disclose it to the public.

"The dossier cannot be given until prosecutors finish crafting the indictment," Daniel said.

Daniel insisted that investigators had sole authority over what a suspect was charged for, adding that there was another suspect named in Bambang's case, but he refused to disclose the name.

The Indonesian Ombudsman announced that the National Police had violated the KUHAP for arresting Bambang on Jan. 22, ordering the police to punish two police officers involved in the arrest.

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