Low-ranking cop takes fall for Djoko Susilo
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The National Police have named a middle-ranking officer a suspect in a document forgery case, a move that was allegedly designed to save a police general who has been implicated in a high-profile corruption case.
The National Police Criminal Investigation Directorate (Bareskrim) has named Comr. Legimo Pudji Sumarto, the treasurer of the National Police Traffic Corps (Korlantas), a suspect for allegedly forging the signatures of his former boss at the corps, Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo, who has been implicated in a Rp 200 billion (US$21.2 million) procurement corruption case at the National Traffic Police Corps (Korlantas) headquarters.
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said on Tuesday that Legimo allegedly falsified Djoko’s signatures in “some documents related to the procurement of vehicle simulators by Korlantas”.
Boy gave no details on what kind of documents Legimo had allegedly falsified.
He also declined to disclose information on Legimo’s motive in forging Djoko’s signature.
“I assure you, police detectives have undertaken the investigation based on evidence and through the legitimate processes,” he said.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has named Djoko a suspect in the simulator procurement that took place in 2011.
His successor at Korlantas, Brig. Gen. Didik Purnomo, and two businessmen, were also named KPK suspects.
Anticorruption activists say the police are attempting to “engineer” Legimo’s signature falsification case in an attempt to save Djoko from the KPK’s prosecution.
Djoko is known as one of the most influential generals within the police force. He was also rumored to be one of the future candidates for the National Police chief.
“If Legimo is declared guilty of falsifying Djoko’s signature, his verdict could be used by Djoko as an alibi to prove that he had no role in the simulator procurement graft,” Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) activist Emerson
Emerson said that it was common practice in the police force to identify sacrificial lamb officers to take the fall for their superiors.
“We predicted that this kind of thing would happen in the police,” Emerson said.
Boy declined to comment on the speculation.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the KPK would stand its ground and would prosecute the simulator graft case regardless of what steps the police had taken.
“It is not compulsory for us [to use police investigation material for the KPK’s own investigation into the simulator graft],” he told The Jakarta Post.
The signature falsification case is the latest attempt by the police to get around President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s order, which mandated them to hand over the case to the KPK.
The police had earlier tried to buy time by wrangling with the KPK over details of the case hand over, turning to the Criminal Code to defend their stance on not allowing the KPK to handle the case.
The police also told the KPK to use the results of the police’s preliminary investigation, which identified several suspects. Based on the KPK Law, the antigraft body has full power to proceed with its own investigation. Johan said the KPK and police would have a technical meeting to settle the difference.