National

Akil Mochtar assaults journalist

Constitutional Court Chief Justice and bribery suspect Akil Mochtar hit a journalist after being confronted with his own words regarding the need to cut corruption convicts fingers off for maximum deterrent effect.

“It shocked me and other journalists as well. I wasn’t expecting that from him,” Oktavian Surya Dewangga, a print journalist, who was slapped in the left cheek, said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.

The incident happened when Akil was on his way out from the interrogation room at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) office in Kuningan, South Jakarta.

As he reached the lobby, he was surrounded by dozens of journalists trying to get his first statement on the bribery charges that he is facing.

Akil was asked whether he remembered what he himself had said about corruptors’ fingers being cut off as a deterrent and how he felt about that now that he was a graft suspect. Akil lost his temper and slapped the inquiring journalist on the cheek.

Commenting on this, House Speaker Marzuki Alie said Akil’s behavior was out of line and obviously inappropriate.

“Let the public see for themselves what Akil is made of,” he said.

Akil and two other people, Golkar Party lawmaker and treasurer at the Indonesia Ulemas Council (MUI), Chairun Nisa, and Cornelis Lanau, a businessman, were arrested on Wednesday night at his official residence in the Widya Chandra housing complex in Kuningan on bribery charges.

KPK investigators have also arrested two other people, Gunung Mas Regent, Hambit Bintih, and a member of his staff, identified only as DH, at a separate location in Central Jakarta. The KPK also confiscated cash in the form of Singapore and US Dollars worth about Rp 3 billion ($267,000) from Akil’s house.

In the latest development, it was also reported that KPK investigators had found marijuana and ecstasy pills in Akil’s office at the Constitutional Court. (dic)

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