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Only two days after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono delivered his remarks to end the standoff between the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the National Police, confusion has begun to take hold in relation to what the President really ordered in his speech.
The National Police on Thursday issued numerous statements insisting that they had not defied the President’s order by retaining control over elements of the investigation into the vehicle simulator procurement graft case at the National Police Traffic Corps (Korlantas).
In his Monday speech, the President said that the KPK should be the only institution handling the case.
National Police chief spokesman Brig. Gen. Suhardi Aliyus, however, said that they would only hand over three suspects in the case to the KPK. “The remaining two [suspects] will remain under our investigation,” he said on Wednesday.
The three suspects to be handed over to the KPK are Korlantas chief Brig. Gen. Didik Purnomo, as well as businessmen Budi Susanto and Sukotjo S. Bambang. Two other suspects, Korlantas officers Comr. Legimo and Adj. Sr. Comr. Tedy Rusmawan, will not be investigated by the KPK, Suhardi said.
The KPK-police stand-off has been heating up following an investigation by the antigraft body on the vehicle simulators procurement case at the Korlantas, which involves its former chief Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo.
National Police chief detective Comr. Gen. Sutarman said the police would only temporarily halt legal proceedings against Comr. Novel Baswedan, a police detective currently seconded to the KPK, who had decided to permanently join the body.
Yudhoyono said that the police’s move on Novel was “inappropriate both in terms of timing and method”.
“Therefore, we will discuss the right timing to continue the prosecution against him,” Sutarman said on Wednesday, rejecting the notion that Yudhoyono had ordered the termination of Novel’s prosecution.
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said the police would support the President’s call to save the KPK, the institution of the police, as well as the nation. “But we will continue our investigation of Novel simply to obey the law,” he told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
Other government officials also have their own interpretations of Yudhoyono’s directives.
Deputy Law and Human Rights Minister Denny Indrayana said that the term for police investigators seconded to the KPK could only be extended to a maximum of two years, less than the four-year extension Yudhoyono proposed in his speech.
“The President stated that [KPK investigators will have] four-year tenures, then he suggested that they could be extended. In the draft, there are suggestions to [prolong the tenure] to one year or two years. We are still considering which one is the best,” Denny told reporters, and added that the government was now drafting a regulation that would allow for an extension of the investigators’ terms.
Members of the House of Representatives also have their own interpretations of Yudhoyono’s orders.
The President, in his remarks, said that he disagreed with the plan to amend the 2002 KPK Law.
Lawmakers, however, insisted on going ahead with the amendment process, saying that the President did not explicitly ask them to stop it.
“We will reformulate the law to give more power to the anti-graft body rather than reduce its authority, as shown in the draft revision submitted by the House’s law commission,” said lawmaker Dimyati Natakusuma of the United Development Party (PPP).
Lost in translation?
On the simulator case
SBY: “The investigation into alleged corruption implicating Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo and other police officers is more appropriate to be handled by one body, the KPK.”
On Comr. Novel Baswedan
SBY: “The police’s desire to prosecute Comr. Novel Baswedan in my opinion is inappropriate, both in terms of timing and method.”
On tenure of police investigators to the KPK
SBY: “The tenure of police detectives seconded to the KPK is four years, not a maximum of four years. It can be extended for another four years.”
On the KPK Law amendment
SBY: “The plan to amend the KPK Law is in my opinion not appropriate to be carried out now.”