ICW slams out-of-court settlement policy for corruption cases
The Jakarta Post
A new policy to terminate a corruption case investigation if the alleged perpetrator is willing to return the embezzled money to the authority has drawn criticism from several corruption watchdogs.
The Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) on Thursday lambasted the policy, which was agreed upon by the Home Ministry, the Attorney General's Office (AGO), the National Police and the Government Internal Supervisory Agency (APIP), calling it an erroneous move.
ICW researcher Almas Sjafrina said the out-of-court settlement policy violated Article 4 of the 2001 Corruption Eradication Law, which had stipulated that returning money taken from corrupt practices would not write off the crime.
"So it's clear that the investigation must go on no matter what," she said as quoted by kompas.com.
The policy aims to build a strong collaboration among related parties to handle corruption in the country.
National Police Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) head Comr. Gen. Ari Dono Sukmanto said the policy would prevent excessive spending in a corruption investigation. He claimed it took Rp 208 million (US$15,121) for authorities to carry out a single investigation.
"We [the state] will be at loss if an alleged perpetrator only embezzled Rp 100 million," he said on Wednesday.
However, he explained, authorities would first take a series of steps before they decided to settle a corruption case out of the court.
"If it involves only maladministration, then it won't go to authorities [the AGO or the police]. But if we found a criminal offense, we will continue to investigate the case," he said. (srs/ebf)
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