KPK to probe dollar bill courtroom drama
Hans Nicholas Jong
The Jakarta Post
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said on Wednesday that it would investigate the alleged attempt by former National Police Traffic Corps (Korlantas) chief Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo to bribe prosecutors inside the Jakarta Corruption Court courtroom.
KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto said the antigraft body would consult the panel of judges handling Djoko's case on the alleged misdemeanor.
Bambang said that what Djoko appeared to do in the courtroom set a bad precedent.
'This is the first time in the history of our courts that a US$100 bill was found in a personal defense statement,' Bambang told reporters.
On Tuesday, Djoko read his personal defense statement. Upon wrapping up, Djoko submitted copies of the statement as well as his biography to the prosecutors and panel of judges.
Before the trial continued, however, presiding judge K M S Roni informed the court that he had found a US$100 bill in his copy of Djoko's biography.
The panel of judges had failed to respond adequately to the discovery of the cash. Bambang insisted that the case should not be taken lightly.
'It is not a simple case and we should not simplify it,' he said. 'The action is not only contempt of court and insulting to the KPK prosecutors but also insults justice seekers and attempts at combating corruption.'
Djoko's lawyer Teuku Nasrullah, meanwhile, said that the $100 bill was not a form of insult to the court.
'Who's insulting who? Nobody was insulted. The discovery of the bill inside the book actually harmed Djoko,' he said.
Teuku said there was no way Djoko could have slipped the bill into the book as all attention would be on the bill, rather than his defense plea.
'If Djoko did that, then it means he tried to destroy himself. Why would he do such a thing?' he said.
According to Teuku, the money's presence inside the book was purely incidental.
'The book was inside Djoko's office. So it was entirely plausible that someone accidentally put the money there. It could have been slipped in by someone who wanted Djoko's reputation to sink further,'
Responding to the KPK's plan to launch a probe into the incident, Teuku said that the antigraft body should focus on more important issues.
'The presiding judge already asked Djoko during the trial whether the money was his and he already denied it,' he said. 'The matter was settled in the courtroom.'
Prosecutors who found the money, meanwhile, said that they would not follow up on the money as the panel of judges had already concluded that the cash had nothing to do with the graft trial.
Prosecutor Pulung Rinandoro said the money should not be considered a form of bribery given the lack of evidence.
The KPK indicted Djoko with multiple charges of graft and money laundering under the corruption and money laundering laws.
Prosecutors have demanded a 18-year jail sentence for Djoko.
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