Archipelago

Speaker refutes police
chief ouster claims

Gorontalo Provincial Legislative Council Speaker Rustam Akili denied a report in a leading national magazine about his alleged efforts to oust former Gorontalo Police chief Brig. Gen. Budi Waseso, amid corruption investigations in the province.

“I have never lobbied the central government to replace the provincial police chief nor have I gone to the House of Representatives or the National Police headquarters with Gorontalo Governor Rusli Habibie, as Tempo magazine reported,” Rustam told The Jakarta Post recently.

Rustam said he went to the National Police Internal Affairs Directorate accompanying a Gorontalo resident wishing to file a complaint.

“I went to represent a resident who wanted to file a complaint,” said Rustam without revealing the person or the complaint.

He said he had never asked for the police chief’s removal and that the truth was he had only forwarded letters from a number of NGOs in Gorontalo urging the National Police to reorganize the Gorontalo Police’s management.

In its Aug. 26 to Sept. 1 issue, Tempo published a report titled “Corruption first, disputes later: Police probe alleged corruption; Gorontalo Governor Rusli Habibie seeks political support”. Rustam was also mentioned in the report.

Tempo disclosed that Rusli accompanied Rustam to file a report against Golkar Party politician and vice chairman of the House’s Legal Commission, Aziz Syamsudin.

Tempo also said Rusli, also from Golkar, complained about the lack of harmony between the Gorontalo provincial administration and Budi, and asked for Budi to be removed.

Rustam regretted filing the report and said Tempo had never confirmed the matter with him. He also said he would refrain from filing a complaint with the Press Council.

He denied he had committed libel and had tarnished Budi’s reputation.

Earlier, Budi said he had filed an official complaint against those who had asked for his ouster, and added that he regarded the matter as libelous and a case of defamation.

Paper Edition | Page: 5

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