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KPK told to pull their
act together, piling cases

With questions looming over several unresolved graft cases, an NGO has called for improvement of the Corruption Eradication Commission’s (KPK) case handling.

Tama S. Langkun from Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) investigation division said Friday that the antigraft body’s sluggishness in moving cases to higher legs of investigation and prosecution stemmed from its erroneous and complicated procedure.

“The problem is there needs to be a case expose and the leaders’ approval before a case moves to a higher leg,” Tama said.

“This creates a bottleneck with cases piling up waiting for approvals, however, according to the information we’ve gathered, several cases have [met the requirements] to be taken to the next leg.”

Unresolved corruption cases handled by the KPK include the alleged bribery attempt and obstruction of a corruption investigation committed by businessman Anggodo Widjojo.

He is believed to have attempted to bribe two KPK deputies in the hope of halting the commission’s investigation into his brother Anggoro Widjojo.

“So far, Anggodo is the only suspect in the case. But how about the role of his lawyer, Bonaran Situmeang? His name was mentioned several times in the recording,” Tama said, referring to a wiretapped recording that revealed the alleged plot to frame KPK deputy chiefs Chandra M. Hamzah and Bibit Samad Rianto.

The ICW researcher also questioned the status of the Bank Century bailout. The commission has questioned several central bank officials, including a deputy governor and two of his subordinates Friday, but has yet to show a sign of naming a suspect in the case anytime soon.

“We’ve become pessimistic about this case,” he said.

Another high-profile case that the KPK is handling and has yet to conclude on is the alleged vote-buying case in the election of Miranda S. Goeltom as Bank Indonesia deputy senior governor in 2004.

“A bribery case should include the briber and the bribed, but so far the KPK has not named the briber in this case,” he said.

The case has implicated more than 30 people, but so far the KPK has only named four suspects.

Tama also criticized the commission’s tardiness on several corruption cases implicating regional leaders and officials, including one that implicated a regent in Tegal, Central Java, in a Rp 17 billion (US$1.9 million) construction project of a ring road.

He said another reason the KPK responded slowly to cases could be that it was overloaded with too many. KPK acting chairman Haryono Umar said the commission received around 37,000 reports since it first opened its door in 2004.

“Only 20 percent of that number is in our authority to investigate. We must be extra careful, however, about moving a case to the investigation leg after inquiries because then there’s no stopping the process,” he said.

“Also, every person that has been named suspect by the KPK has been proven guilty.”

He said that the only obstacle that the KPK faced was in finding evidence. “Most cases reported to us took place more than five years ago and most evidence no longer exists,” he said. Tama said the KPK had enough evidence to move some cases to the next leg.

“But leaders are not firm about pushing the cases so many go back to square one,” he added.

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