Top lawmaker backs KPK in police probe
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A senior lawmaker is coming out in support of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in its probe of an active-duty two-star police general in a procurement scandal.
“No one likes the KPK – but the KPK was not established to please anyone,” Deputy House Speaker Pramono Anung Wibowo said on Tuesday.
“There is no room for negotiations,” Pramono, a lawmaker from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said during a media discussion at the KPK’s headquarters in Kuningan, South Jakarta.
In an apparent jibe against the National Police’s parallel investigation of the Rp 200 billion (US$21.2 million) procurement scandal at the Traffic Corps, Pramono said that the Corruption Law clearly defined when the KPK could instigate or supersede existing corruption investigations.
“All parties should respect the law”, he said.
Former KPK deputy chairman Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas, who also spoke at the discussion, encouraged the commission to press ahead.
“Let the President be busy with his own business. He won’t make any decision on this case. Just do what you can do and go ahead,” Erry said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s spokesman, Julian Aldrin Pasha, declined to comment when asked if the President had ordered the National Police to turn over its probe to the KPK.
“The President’s directives have been delivered to leaders of the Polri [National Police] and the KPK via Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto,” Julian said.
The police and the commission have been at loggerheads on the handling of the case, which involves kickbacks allegedly paid to former National Police Traffic Corps chief Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo to award contracts for driving simulators.
The National Police Criminal Investigations Directorate (Bakreskrim) opened its own investigation of the scandal shortly after the KPK launched its probe.
As previously reported, a police general who declined to be named said that Bakreskrim’s probe was launched so that suspects could be detained and “contained” by the National Police and not the KPK.
KPK chief Abraham Samad and National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo agreed to a joint investigation on Aug. 1, after the KPK’s raid on Traffic Corps headquarters ended in a standoff, with KPK investigators prevented from leaving the headquarters by police officers.
The KPK declared Djoko a suspect immediately before the raid.
The National Police later advised the Attorney General’s Office that it had launched its own investigation, naming five people as suspects and detaining four of them, including Traffic Corps deputy chief Brig. Gen. Didik Purnomo.
The police have detained three police officers as suspects at the Mobile Brigade’s detention center in West Java, while the head of the company implicated in the scandal has been held at Bakreskrim’s detention unit.
Meanwhile, KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto confirmed on Tuesday that a meeting took place between the leaders of the KPK and the National Police on Monday evening, a few hours after Timur met with several of his retired predecessors.
“Several KPK and National Police leaders have been communicating to discuss the investigation. The discussion is still ongoing,” Bambang said, declining to elaborate.
KPK investigators were still focusing on questioning witnesses, including Djoko, Bambang said.
Bambang declined to state when the KPK would detain Djoko, although the commission has asked the immigration office to impose a ban on his overseas travel.
Djoko was removed from his last assignment as the head of the Police Academy in Semarang, Central Java, last week.