National

Commissioner to clean up
law enforcement

The new draft Criminal Law Procedure Code (KUHAP) has had the new post of “Justice Commissioner” included to help improve law enforcement.  

A member of the draft formulation team, Luhut M.P. Pangaribuan, said Wednesday the Justice Commissioner’s office would monitor, supervise and control all of the investigation processes conducted by police and prosecutors.

The aim is to eradicate the misuse of power occurring in the process of compiling evidence and witnesses due to a lack of supervision.

“The power of investigators is too extensive and very dangerous for the constitutional rights of people,” he said, adding that, under the current code, evidence gathered was treated as the exclusive property of the police and prosecutors.

He pointed out that under the current code anyone could be named a suspect without any clear legal reasons. He also expressed concern over some of the latest police arrests that have failed to follow proper legal procedures.  

The current code was codified in late 1981 replacing the Herzine Inlands Reglement (HIR) criminal law issued by the Dutch colonial government in 1941.  

The concept of “Justice Commissioner” was found in the Dutch code which granted the official extensive authority not only to supervise, monitor and control the investigation process, but to also investigate.

In the current code, the pre-trial judges act as supervisors for investigative processes with limited authority to only check the final report submitted by investigators and decide if the case could be passed into the trial process.  

The Head of the National Law Commission, J.E. Sahetapy, said the the most important thing to do was not just to revise the Criminal Law Procedure Code, but to clean up rampant corruption in all judicial institutions.  

“People don’t believe that law enforcement officers have integrity,” he said, adding that the public saw law enforcement agencies as extortionists.

He suggested that the court reverse the burden of proof in the case of corruption by public officials with no remission ever being granted to them.  

Sahetapy said the new draft code had to include harsh legal sanctions for police officers, prosecutors and judges who abused their positions.

Former governor of the Indonesian Institute of Police Science (PTIK), Farouk Muhammad, warned that the revision of the code would not work effectively unless there were individuals with competence and integrity in the law enforcement agencies.

“It is important to have honest and dedicated individuals sitting in the Justice Commissioner’s office because there is ample room to misuse power there,” he said. (rdf)

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