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Constitutional Court chief justice to be questioned over alleged backroom deals

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, December 6, 2017 | 05:02 pm
Constitutional Court chief justice to be questioned over alleged backroom deals Constitutional Court chief justice Arief Hidayat listens on April 4 during a hearing on a dispute regarding Aceh's 2017 elections. (Antara/M Agung Rajasa)

The ethics council of the Constitutional Court is set to investigate allegations of what has been dubbed “political barter” between court chief justice Arief Hidayat and the House of Representatives surrounding his bid for a second term as chief justice.

The alleged agreement was reportedly related to a judicial review of the 2014 Legislative Institutions Law known as MD3, which is currently handled by the court. It would also determine the fate of an ongoing and controversial House inquiry into the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

The ethics council planned to summon Arief on Thursday to question him regarding his alleged lobbying efforts, council member Salahuddin Wahid said.

"We need to seek clarification and confirmation from [Arief] tomorrow morning, and we will conduct another meeting to determine further action," he told a press conference on Wednesday.

Salahuddin said the council could not yet comment on allegations of lobbying by Arief.

He went on to say that the council could not interfere with the fit and proper test conducted by House Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, with regard to a second term for Arief as chief justice.

"However, the decision of the ethics council could affect the House's decision on extending or not extending [Arief's tenure]," Salahuddin said.

Similarly, MK ethics council chairman Achmad Rustandi said the council would follow up reports and summon witnesses to assist the council in its investigation. (rin)

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