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The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) says that its graft investigations will likely slow to an almost halt after the National Police recalled 20 officers seconded to the commission.
The cases that are most likely to be affected are the KPK’s probe of the Bank Century bailout, which must be completed by December according to a deal with the House of Representatives, and the case said to have prompted the recall, the procurement scandal at the National Police Traffic Corps.
The recalled officers comprised almost a quarter of the commission’s investigators, KPK spokesman Johan Budi said.
“We must slow our investigations if 20 of our current 78 investigators can’t work with us,” Johan said on Monday.
Johan said that the KPK would negotiate with the National Police to retain the officers, as it would be difficult to hire replacements.
“The 20 investigators have worked for the KPK for close to four years. We can’t just hire new investigators now because it takes at least three months for us to train them,” he said.
Johan said that the police investigators were essential for the KPK to investigate the Traffic Corps scandal, which has implicated high ranking police generals, including the Traffic Corps’ former chief, Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo.
Separately, KPK deputy chairman Busyro Muqoddas said that it would take some time before the commission could recruit and train independent investigators to replace the police officers.
Busyro said that the replacing the officers would disrupt the KPK’s ongoing investigations.
“We will recruit independent investigators in the near future. But we still need the current investigators that we have from the police, because of the large number of cases that we are dealing with,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said that his decision to recall the police investigators from the KPK was firm, claiming that it was mandated by personnel regulations.
“I disagree that we have been considered as recalling our investigators. It is not a recall but a rotation,” Timur said.
“I think it’s good to deploy new investigators from the police to work with the KPK to enable this new batch to have experience working with the commission. As for the outgoing investigators, they can share their experience with us here,” Timur said.
Timur said that the National Police and the KPK had agreed to work together to train a new batch of investigators.
A source at the Presidential Palace who declined to be named said that the recall was evidence that the National Police had been spooked by the investigation of the Traffic Police.
The source alleged that Timur was aware of the driving simulators scandal, and aware that the money from the project had been used to bribe House lawmakers to pass laws to bolster the police.
“Timur and his colleague Comr. Gen. Sutarman [the National Police’s chief detective] previously served at the Traffic Corps under Djoko Susilo. Therefore, both of them are familiar with the corrupt system in the institution,” the source said.
A recent decision by the KPK to open prison cells for graft suspects in a military (TNI) detention center has also irritated the police force, which has been resistant to the TNI’s public role, according to the source. (cor)