Maladministration suspected in handling of Novel acid attack witness
The Jakarta Post
Ombudsman officials on Thursday met with the Jakarta Police personnel handling the investigation into an acid attack on senior Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan to seek clarification on alleged maladministration in the questioning of Muhammad Lestaluhu, a witness in the case.
"Today, we are trying to get clarification from the police as to what exactly happened during the questioning of Muhammad Lestaluhu," Ombudsman commissioner Adrianus Meliala told journalists on Thursday.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said the police summoned Lestaluhu only as a witness and had cleared him as a possible suspect.
“We checked everything about him,” Argo said.
He added that the police had checked Lestaluhu’s profile and alibi during the Novel attack and decided they would not upgrade his status to suspect.
Lestaluhu lost his job as a security guard at a hotel in Central Jakarta after a rumor circulated that he was one of the suspects in the attack on the KPK investigator.
The rumor circulated after the North Jakarta Police summoned Lestaluhu for questioning.
The management of the hotel where Lestaluhu used to work said it was uncomfortable with the rumor as well as Lestaluhu’s questioning by the police and media coverage.
The Ombudsman’s office will publish its findings next week.
On April 11, 2017, unknown men attacked Novel, during which he received severe eye wounds. The police are still hunting the perpetrators and have published four sketches of possible suspects as well as questioning some 65 witnesses. (ami/ebf)
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