Suspended anti-graft deputy chairman in fresh row with police

Suspended anti-graft deputy chairman in fresh row with police

The National Police refused to question suspended Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto on Wednesday as a suspect accused of perjury.

Bambang arrived at the police headquarters in South Jakarta and offered to be questioned on his own initiative after failing to meet two police summonses last week.

"I received a letter from the National Police deputy chief [Comr. Gen. Badrodin Haiti], which I thought was a summons to be questioned today [Wednesday]. I'm completely ready to be questioned. However, it seems that I was mistaken," he said.

Earlier this year, Bambang was arrested on grounds of allegedly directing witnesses in the West Kotawaringin election dispute to provide false testimony at the Constitutional Court in 2010, at a time when Bambang was still a lawyer.

The arrest occurred just days after the KPK named former police-chief candidate Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan a graft suspect.

Fellow suspended KPK leader Abraham Samad was also named a suspect for allegedly falsifying documents, fanning speculation that the police were trying to undermine KPK leaders for naming Budi a suspect.

Last week, Bambang sent a letter to Badrodin and the National Police's detective division (Bareskrim) explaining that he would not meet a summons unless he received an explanation on why fresh charges in the alleged perjury case were added in the last summons letter he received.

In addition to allegedly violating articles 55 and 242 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on perjury, Bambang was also recently charged with Article 56 for being an accomplice in the alleged crime.

"I spoke with the investigators and they said that they would summons me another time to be questioned as a suspect. Meanwhile, they gave me another summons letter to me to be questioned as a witness for another suspect next Wednesday," Bambang said.

Although Badrodin had previously hinted that Bambang would be summoned by force because he had skipped two summonses, the suspended KPK commissioner was let go within the hour.

Lead investigator of Bambang's case, Sr. Comr. Daniel Bolly Tifaona, confirmed that investigators refused to question Bambang because questioning had not been scheduled and they were not ready to conduct impromptu questioning.

He also confirmed that three other suspects had been named in addition to Bambang, including Zulfahmi Arsyad, a relative of West Kotawaringin Regent Ujang Iskandar, who has won the dispute case.

"[Zulfahmi] has been detained. We've been trying to question him since early last month but he failed to meet three summonses. We finally caught up with him in Jepara, Central Java," Daniel said.

Daniel said that Zulfahmi also allegedly asked witnesses to commit perjury and was responsible for distributing money to the witnesses.

"He gave them Rp 2 million (S$210) or Rp 4 million depending on the witness," Daniel said.

He remained tight-lipped about the identities of the other two suspects.

Although police reports against KPK commissioners Adnan Pandu Praja and Zulkarnaen have been filed, Badrodin said that those cases would be put on hold indefinitely after three new interim KPK leaders were installed last month.

Badrodin also said investigators were considering postponing the investigation against much-lauded KPK investigator Novel Baswedan, who has been accused of shooting a suspect during his tenure as the Bengkulu Police's detective division chief.

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