The Jakarta Post
Responding to mounting opposition from the public and current staff members of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the acting chairman of the antigraft body, Taufiequrachman Ruki, is enlisting support from former commissioners and advisors of the agency to help neutralize the growing criticism directed at him for handing over Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan's graft case to the Attorney General's Office (AGO).
Following a protest on Tuesday by more than 400 KPK officials, including investigators and directors, Ruki held a closed-door meeting with former KPK commissioners and advisors including Tumpak Hatorangan Panggabean, Haryono Umar, Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas and Busyro Muqoddas, as well as suspended KPK chairman Abraham Samad and commissioner Bambang Widjojanto.
Some members of the KPK's old guard voiced their support for Ruki's decision on Budi, saying that it was the right way to build solidarity within the KPK.
'What is important now is to build internal solidarity and transparency within the KPK so that there is no more room for suspicion [against KPK leaders] in the future,' Haryono said.
The approximately 400 antigraft officials who staged a protest on Tuesday at the KPK compound lambasted what they described as the 'horse-trading' undertaken by Ruki, who they said had been sent by the government to take the case away from the KPK.
The KPK officials also accused Ruki of trading Budi's case with the police so that they would stop their ongoing investigations into current commissioners Adnan Pandu Praja and Zulkarnain, as well as into several investigators and directors who all face criminal charges from the police following the KPK move to name Budi, a short-lived candidate for the position of National Police chief, a graft suspect.
Haryono also said that during Wednesday's meeting, former KPK commissioners demanded an explanation from Ruki regarding suspicions that he might have acted according to an agenda set by others. 'In the meeting we learned that there is no suspicion and that there was no horse-trading behind Monday's deal,' Haryono said.
Meanwhile, Tumpak said that the move to transfer Budi's case to the AGO was the best decision, and could be justified by Law No. 20/2002 on the KPK as an effort to rebuild the KPK after it endured numerous attacks following its decision to name Budi a suspect.
To ensure that the AGO would not suspend Budi's case or transfer it to the police, Tumpak said that the KPK could hold a joint case exposÃ© with prosecutors from the AGO.
'I don't think [that the case should be transferred to the police]. Let the AGO determine what to do next after holding the joint case expose,' Tumpak said.
Earlier, Attorney General M Pasetyo said that the KPK had recommended that it would be 'effective' for the AGO to pass Budi's case to the National Police on the grounds that prosecutors from the agency had launched a probe into Budi's case in 2010.
Former KPK advisor Abdullah Hehamahua, who was also among the former KPK advisors who joined Wednesday's meeting, said that all the former KPK commissioners had agreed to recommend that Ruki file for a judicial review with the Supreme Court over the pretrial decision that ordered the KPK to stop its investigation into Budi.
Ruki used the pretrial decision as the main reason to justify the transfer of Budi's case to the AGO because the KPK law prohibited the agency from halting a graft investigation.
'If the Supreme Court annuls the verdict then the KPK could consider taking Budi's case back. It depends on the current leadership's decision,' Abdullah said.