Saving KPK: Activists from all walks of life hold up banner declaring “Selamatkan KPK” (Save the KPK—Corruption Eradication Commission) at the KPK headquarters in Jakarta early Saturday. Activists protested following a police attempt to arrest KPK investigator Comr. Novel Baswedan, who is one of the investigators working on a graft scandal involving the Police Traffic Corps. The police claimed that they were investigating a 2004 murder case involving Novel. (Antara/Widodo S.Jusuf)In a controversial move, tens of police officers, dressed in uniforms and civilians' outfits, stormed the office of the Corruption Eradication Commission on Jl. Rasuna Said in Kuningan, South Jakarta, on Friday evening.
Bengkulu Police detective chief, Sr. Comr. Dedy Rianto, told the press on early Saturday that the police were visiting the KPK to coordinate with the heads of the commission regarding a crime allegedly committed by Comr. Novel Baswedan.
Novel is one of the commission's investigators who handles the case of Ins. Gen. Djoko Susilo, the main suspect in the Police Traffic Corps driving simulators procurement graft scandal.
“We came to Jakarta to coordinate (with the KPK) that we are currently investigating a crime occurred in 2004 committed by Novel,” Dedy said, adding that he also visited the Jakarta Police to tell them about the investigation.
According to Dedy, Novel, who used to be the head of the criminal unit in Bengkulu Police, is suspected to shoot six robbers back in 2004, which resulted in the death of one of the robbers.
Commenting on why the police has just investigated the case now, Dedy said that there had been requests as well as new reports brought to light by the public and non-governmental organizations.
KPK deputy chief Bambang Widjojanto, meanwhile, denied the allegation by Dedy, saying that Novel was not the one who committed the crime and that the case had been cleared by authorities in 2004.
“The one who did the shooting was one of Novel's men,” he said. “And Novel had taken the responsibility of his man and had received a stern warning.”
The disparity between Dedy and Bambang's statements does not end there. Bambang claimed that Dedy stormed the office of the KPK without a legal warrant to arrest Novel since the letter had not been approved by the court and did not even have a number on it.
Dedy, meanwhile, denied the allegation. “[The documents] are very complete,” he said while showing a bunch of papers with signatures on them to the camera during an interview with a local TV station.
Dedy also said that he only brought seven officers, combining forces from Bengkulu Police and Jakarta Police.
“From those seven, only five entered the KPK's building,” he said, adding that there were no personnel from the Jakarta Police Densus 88 counterterrorism unit involved as rumored.
Bambang said that the police also stormed Novel's house in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta. Dedy once again denied the allegation.
Bambang added that National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo asked two officers, identified only by their initials AA and AD, to pick up Novel to meet Timur's aide, Sr. Comr. Yazid Fanani on Thursday evening.
KPK deputy chairman Busyro Muqoddas, however, did not give Novel the permission to leave, according to Bambang.
The storming has lead many to speculate that National Police was behind the move to hinder the investigation of the driving simulators procurement graft. (han/swd)