National

Judges face random urine
tests from narcotics agency

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) will administer random drug tests to judges throughout the nation under a deal signed on Wednesday with the Judicial Commission (KY).

Mandatory random drug tests were needed to crack down on narcotics use on the bench, Judicial Commission chairman Erman Suparman said on Wednesday, describing the number of drug-addled judges who might potentially issue bad decisions as “alarming”.

“We have received shocking reports about judges who have drug problems. This agreement with the BNN is part of our effort to maintain the dignity of the judiciary,” Erman said on Wednesday after signing the agreement in Jakarta.

Earlier this month, BNN agents arrested Bekasi District Court Judge Puji Wijayanto at a reportedly drug-fueled party in a karaoke room at Illigals Hotel and Club in West Jakarta, in the heart of the capital’s most infamous red-light district.

Agents apprehended Puji and attorneys Siddiq Pramono and Musli Musa’ad, who were accompanied by four hostesses, and confiscated ecstasy pills and 0.4 grams of crystal methamphetamine allegedly in Puji’s possession.

The BNN has alleged that Puji has been using crystal meth and ecstasy since his appointment to the Jayapura District Court in Jayapura, Papua, in 2010.

Following the arrest, the commission revealed that it was investigating 10 judges implicated in drug cases in Java and Sumatra.

However, Erman said that it was Puji’s arrest that gave the commission impetus to introduce mandatory drug testing. “The arrest of the judge should give us the momentum to free the judiciary from drugs,” Erman said.

Previously, the commission administered urine tests only to judges suspected of having narcotics problems. “With the agreement, now we can ask the BNN to administer a urine test to any judge at any court level across the country,” Erman said.

The members of the Judicial Commission and the judges of the Supreme Court will be the first tested under the new regimen.

Meanwhile, Insp. Gen. Benny Jozua Mamoto, the deputy chief of the BNN’s drug eradication division, said that BNN agents were zeroing on high courts in their search for junkie justices.

“We are still investigating this case,” Benny said.

Benny warned people of the disastrous impact of drugs on a judge’s decision-making process, claiming that Puji told investigators that he suffered from paranoia, a side effect of his drug abuse.

“He [Puji] might have made wrong decisions, because when he presided over trials, he said he always had hallucinations and that the police were looking after him,” Benny said.

Benny said that a regular random urine tests might prevent drug use and afford an earlier opportunity to identify jurists with narcotics problems.

The BNN would offer different treatment to drug-addled judges depending on the severity of their addiction, Benny said.

The case of Puji has furthered tarnished the image of the nation’s judiciary, long considered one of its most corrupt institutions, and already reeling from the arrest of two ad-hoc corruption court judges by officials from the Corruption Eradication Commission in August in Semarang, Central Java, for accepting bribes.

Previously, the KPK also arrested Syarifuddin, a supervisory judge with the Central Jakarta District Court, as well as Imas Dianasari, an industrial relations court judge under the Bandung District Court in West Java. (riz)

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