Business as usual for Novel after KPK- Police saga
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When officers from Bengkulu and Jakarta Police attempted to arrest the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Comr. Novel Baswedan earlier this month, many assumed that it would be a test of his resolve.
And with the threat of arrest, many suspected he would back down, especially with threats directed against his family as well.
Members of his family went to the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) after men who were thought to be plainclothes police officers continued to hound his home in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.
The threats also include a form of intimidation that targeted both Novel and members of his extended family.
Novel, who is related to young Muslim scholar rector Anies Baswedan, shrugged off the threats and was back at work moments after the police stormed the KPK headquarters in early October.
“He continues doing his job with great enthusiasm,” Novel’s older brother, Taufik Baswedan, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
Taufik also said that the threats and intimidation had abated but members of his family still felt that their homes were under heavy surveillance.
“We [Novel’s family] think that we should ignore the people who keep an eye on Novel’s house. If we keep focusing our attention on them it will drain our energy,” he said.
In a related development, Novel’s defense counsel Haris Azhar, said that his team found indications that the police’s move to arrest Novel was a violation of the Criminal Code Procedures.
“Bengkulu Police’s attempt to arrest Novel was made on Oct. 5, but they issued the letter starting the investigation into the case on Oct. 8. The letter was received by the Bengkulu Prosecutors Office on Oct. 12,” Haris told the Post.
Haris said that the Bengkulu Police in fact had no authority to arrest Novel because when they arrived at the KPK headquarters they had yet to officially start their probe into the case.
The Bengkulu Police tried to arrest Novel on charges that he was responsible, in his capacity as head of Bengkulu criminal unit, for the actions of his subordinates who shot six thieves during a robbery in progress. One suspect died as a result.
“The chronology of the arrest indicates that the Bengkulu Police have violated the Criminal Code Procedures,” Hariz said.
“The status of the Novel case is now rather suspect because we have not yet received any notification or letter from either the National Police or Bengkulu Police,” he said.
Haris, who is also the coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), said the only way to unravel the case was to set up an independent tribunal.