National

Doubts over KPK inquiry
into police bank accounts

Despite its commitment to handle all graft cases, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) will unlikely have the capacity to deal with the suspiciously fat bank accounts belonging to several high-ranking policemen.

Deputy Law and Human Rights Minister Denny Indrayana was the latest person to express his doubts over the capacity of the antigraft body.

Denny said investigations into the policemen’s oversized bank accounts would undoubtedly not comprise “a lightweight case”.

“[Once it starts reopening the cases] the KPK will revive the Cicak vs Buaya [Lizard vs Crocodile] saga in 2009,” Denny said, referring to the protracted saga, which pitted the KPK against the National Police and increased rivalry between the two law-enforcement institutions.

The deputy minister made the statement on Wednesday at a discussion, which was also attended by KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto, who early this year vowed to reopen the fat-bank accounts case.

At the discussion, however, Bambang said his office had yet to scrutinize the accounts as “the police are still investigating them”.

Bambang declined to go into details on whether the bank accounts were currently being investigated or were still under preliminary inquiries, or whether his office had just begun to study and verify a public report on the case.

Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) officials were the first to investigate the suspicious bank accounts belonging to 21 senior police officers and later submitted a report to the KPK in 2010.

Yet, Bambang dismissed Denny’s concerns, saying that his office never bowed to such pressure. “We handle all cases professionally. So, yes, all of those cases will be investigated,” he said adamantly.

ICW’s Tama S. Langkun, who was hit by an unidentified motorist weeks after submitting the report, disagreed with Bambang.

“We are the ones who reported the cases to the KPK. Whether or not they follow it up or hand them over to the police, we deserve an explanation,” Tama told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Among the police generals who own the large bank accounts is Insp. Gen. Budi Gunawan, former head of the National Police’s internal affairs division, who allegedly amassed Rp 95 billion (US$10.26 million) in two bank accounts.

According to an official document obtained by the Post, Budi regularly received money transfers from unidentified third parties.

Budi, now the Bali Police chief, has confirmed he owned the accounts but claimed that the money was “legally obtained from his businesses”.

On Wednesday, the head of the presidential working unit for supervision and management of development (UKP4), Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, former Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) chief Yunus Husein and PPTK chief Muhammad Yusuf visited the KPK to discuss a mechanism to accelerate the completion of graft cases.

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