House may ‘throw in the
towel’ in corruption

The House of Representatives received 10 white towels from the National Law Reformation Consortium (KRHN) as a symbol of the 10 House factions’ lack of seriousness in passing the Corruption Court bill into law.

“We gave them the towels so that they could ‘throw in the towel’ to show they have given up on the bill,” KRHN Court and Constitution Researcher Wahyudi Djafar said at the House in Jakarta on Friday.

“The House has proven it is not serious about passing the bill. House Speaker Agung Laksono promised that legislators would pass the bill by March, but it is already June now, and so far there has been no significant progress with the bill,” Wahyudi said.

In 2006, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Corruption Court had violated the Constitution by establishing itself under the 2002 Law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), instead of under the Law on Judicial Power.

The court then ruled that a new law on the Corruption Court had to be enacted by December 2009, or the existing court would lose its legal standing.

If this occurs, the Corruption Court will be dissolved and forced to hand over cases under its investigation to district courts.

The draft of the bill was submitted by the government to the House in September 2008, but the House has been slow to deliberate it, despite its potential to send many corrupt legislators and regional heads to prison.

The bill is one of nearly 40 draft laws the House has deemed as priorities, to be completed by the end of its term on Sept. 30 this year.

A member of the special House committee deliberating the bill, Gayus Lumbuun of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), earlier hinted that the government should prepare a regulation in-lieu of law (Perppu), because the House would not finish deliberating the bill on time.

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