The Jakarta Post
Controversial Supreme Court justice candidate Sudrajad Dimyati has failed in his bid to net the position after the House of Representatives' Commission III overseeing legal affairs and laws rejected on Monday his candidacy to become one of four new justices.
Sudrajad was earlier allegedly involved in a bribery attempt when he was caught in a toilet handing over an envelope to lawmaker Bachruddin Nashori of the National Awakening Party (PKB).
On Monday, the House selected Zahrul Rabain from the Gorontalo High Court; Eddy Army from the Lampung High Court; Sumardijatmo from the Bandung High Court, and Maruap Dohmatiga Pasaribu from the Medan High Court from the total 12 candidates screened to fill the vacant Supreme Court positions.
Zahrul, the deputy chief of the Gorontalo High Court received 39 votes from lawmakers, followed by Eddy with 35 votes, Sumardijatmo with 28 votes and Maruap with 27 votes.
Sudrajad, meanwhile, secured one vote from the 54 members on Commission III. 'How could anyone vote for him [Sudrajad]?' and 'It is mind-boggling', some lawmakers jeered when the results were announced.
Sudrajad, a judge from the Pontianak High Court, came under the spotlight after he was caught by a news reporter handing an envelope to Bachruddin in a restroom following his 'fit and proper' test on Wednesday last week.
Both Sudrajad and Bachruddin maintained their innocence, claiming that Sudrajad was merely seeking clarification on the backgrounds of the other candidates.
The PKB faction at the House has removed Bachruddin from his position and replaced him with Abdul Malik Haramain. Sudrajad was then transferred to House Commission II overseeing domestic governance.
Outgoing Commission III chairman I Gede Pasek Suardika told reporters that the lawmakers' choice reflected Commission III's judgment over the incident, regardless of Sudrajad and Bachruddin's claims.
'Each of the commission members freely made their choice. The result of the voting tells us what they think about the [restroom] incident' Pasek said.
'Therefore, we sincerely hope that each of the four selected justices will carry out their responsibilities with integrity,' he emphasized.
Commission III leaders are expected to present the voting results before a House plenary meeting on Tuesday for endorsement.
Earlier on Monday, Commission III summoned all 12 candidates to seek clarification on any media reports concerning allegations of bribery involving them.
Following the toilet incident, the Judicial Commission (KY) disclosed its findings from last year's 'fit and proper' test that attempted bribery had taken place.
According to the KY, one of the candidates attempted to bribe a Commission III member from the Democratic Party.
The KY also said that a Democratic Party politician had attempted to bribe one of its commissioners to rig the selection process for the Supreme Court justices.
The commission said that the lawmaker offered commission members Rp 1.4 billion (US$123,200) in return for their endorsement of a particular candidate.
'As we are going to vote for you in the evening, it would be better for you to tell us now whether any of you had indeed attempted to bribe any of us during the process,' Edi Ramli Sitanggang from the Democratic Party said.
'It's really important for you to do so, especially after the recent restroom incident involving one of you,' Edi added.
This attempted bribe during the selection has brought the House under fire.
House Speaker Marzuki Alie previously suggested that lawmakers should be removed from 'fit and proper' tests in order to prevent graft in the selection of justices as well as other public officials.
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Justice is done
'¢ Zahrul Rabain from the Gorontalo High Court: 39 votes
'¢ Eddy Army from the Lampung High Court: 35 votes
'¢ Sumardijatmo from the Bandung High Court: 28 votes
'¢ Maruap Dohmatiga Pasaribu from the Medan High Court: 27 votes
Source: The Jakarta Post