Pass the buck: President Susilo BambangYudhoyono (right) receives the final report from Adnan Buyung Nasution, chairman of the fact-finding team assigned to investigate the alleged criminalization of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputies Bibit Samad Rianto and Chandra M. Hamzah, in Jakarta on Tuesday. JP/R. Berto Wedhatama
Relief or dejection? The long awaited Team 8 report to the President seems to have failed to stop the legal juggernaut. The KPK deputies must bow to face trial while the detective chief implicated in the scandal keeps his job, at least for now.
The President’s response, an aide said Tuesday, will be in another agonizingly long week.
And all night long national detective chief Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji was smiling on the main TV channels, rebutting all allegations of any role in the alleged plot to weaken the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) by false charges.
In a few hours the mood changed from relief at the positive recommendations of the team to drop the cases and sanction the perpetrators, to dejection at the slap in the face of rejection, contrary to team conclusions and public opinion.
After the team handed over the report to the President, the young team member Anies Baswedan, rector of Paramadina University, revealed the recommendations.
“After finding a number of fundamental weaknesses, the Team of 8 recommends that the President fulfill the sense of justice by imposing sanctions on officials responsible for the forced legal process.”
Beyond the specific case the team also recommended legal reform, and to “prioritize measures to combat case brokers,” referring to the mafia permeating all law enforcement agencies; a recommendation which the President said was “sunnah” (rewarded in Islam, but without penalties if not conducted).
Yudhoyono said while opening the meeting with the team that he would surely take into considerations its recommendations.
“The team also recommends a number of thoughts for performance increase of law enforcement institutions. I take it as ‘sunnah,” he said.
Sources who attended the president’s meeting with the Team 8 said the discussions were fluid and far from tense.
“The President was very thorough in listening to the elaboration by Bang Buyung [Adnan Buyung Nasution, the Team 8 chairman],” the source said.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto said the President would conduct a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the recommendations of the team with related officials, and would give National Police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri and Attorney General Hendarman Supandji a few days to study the report of the fact-finding team.
“And we expect that the President will at the latest on Monday announce to the public the measures he will take for the sake of nation,” Djoko said.
Later in the evening the President summoned his close advisors, including Djoko, to examine the team’s recommendations at his private residence in Cikeas. Participants began gathering at around 9 p.m., expecting to continue late or into today.
Despite the public pressure the source assured there would be no quick response from the president because “he needed to ponder the right course of action”.
In its report handed over to the President on Tuesday, the Presidential fact-finding team or Team 8 says it has found indication of fabrication of evidence in the police’s naming of the two KPK deputies as suspects.
The Team 8 says the police have forced the case despite lack of evidence, and recommends that the police and the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) halt investigations into the deputies Bibit Samad Rianto and Chandra Hamzah.
“Investigators and prosecutors have not been free in working on the case as their superiors dictated to them what to do, creating impression of engineering of [evidence],” the team said in the recommendation.
But a few hours later Junior Attorney General for special crimes Marwan Effendy said the examination of the dossiers on the Chandra case was nearly completed.
“I have been told by the prosecutors that the police have managed to fulfill the loopholes in the dossiers as required by the prosecutors. Thus logically speaking, we have no reason but to continue to the indictment process,” Marwan said.
In another sign of ignoring the team’s recommendation, Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji who had been temporarily relieved of his position, was immediately reinstalled as national police detective chief.