KPK stands its ground over Korlantas’ lawsuit
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The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) says it is ready to face a lawsuit filed by the National Police Traffic Corps (Korlantas) in relation to crucial police documents that were seized when the antigraft body’s investigators raided the Corps’ headquarters last July.
KPK spokesperson Johan Budi maintained that the confiscation of the documents, which was part of the KPK’s investigation of graft case involving members of Korlantas, saw the anti-graft body abide by the antigraft law.
“All items that the KPK confiscated have been recorded in our confiscation warrant,” Johan told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
He also said that a number of police officers witnessed the KPK investigators when they collected the documents.
Last week, Korlantas filed a civil lawsuit against the KPK for document confiscation.
Korlantas deemed the seizure of the documents, some of which were apparently unrelated to graft cases, had inflicted material losses on the Corps.
Korlantas also demanded the KPK pay Rp 425 billion (US$44.2 million) for material losses and another Rp 6 billion for immaterial losses.
Korlantas chief Insp. Gen. Pudji Hartanto said that the loss of some of the documents had compromised the Corps’ work.
“Without the data, we can’t continue working on some of our programs,” Pudji said recently.
The South Jakarta District Court has set a date for the first hearing for the civil suit in early November.
Observers say the two parties have engaged in an unnecessary standoff.
They argued that rather than squander resources on a legal battle, the two sides could instead coordinate to work out the handover of the vehicle simulator graft case.
Early last week, the National Police officially stopped investigating the Rp 198.7 billion graft case in the procurement of vehicle simulators..
The police had earlier tried to buy time by wrangling with the KPK over details of the case handover, turning to the Criminal Code to defend their stance on not allowing the KPK to handle the case.
National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar claimed that Korlantas had written to the KPK and asked the commission to return some of the documents prior filing the lawsuit.
Johan, however, said that the KPK investigators were still looking into the documents and would soon return those deemed irrelevant to the vehicle simulator case.
The KPK investigators are currently poring over the documents and searching for evidence in the graft case that has implicated former Korlantas chief Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo.
Many have speculated that some of documents seized by the KPK also contained critical information that could serve to shed light on the involvement of high-ranking police officers in separate alleged graft cases.
KPK prosecutors require at least two pieces of evidence before they charge graft suspects.
This is not the first time the KPK has faced a civil suit for its decision to seize evidence in a graft case.
Earlier this year, graft defendant Syarifuddin Umar filed civil lawsuit against the KPK demanding the return of some documents seized by the KPK that were unrelated to a corruption case that involved the former Central Jakarta District Court.
Syarifuddin won the civil lawsuit at the Jakarta High Court.
The Jakarta High Court upheld the verdict and ordered the KPK to return several items belonging to Syarifuddin.
The KPK has appealed the verdict.