The Jakarta Post
A pretrial decision favoring former tax office boss Hadi Poernomo, who had challenged the Corruption Eradication Commission's (KPK) move to name him a suspect, is a huge blow to the antigraft body.
The South Jakarta District Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of Hadi and declared the KPK's investigation into the former Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) chairman 'invalid' on the basis that the agency's investigators were 'illegal' because they did not come from the police or the prosecutor's office.
'The ruling is detrimental for the future of the antigraft fight,' said Zainal Arifin Mochtar, a senior researcher of the Anti-Corruption Study Center at the Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University (UGM).
'I think the judge did not read the KPK law thoroughly,' he said.
If Hadi's case is dropped because the investigators were deemed illegal, then many other cases could also be dropped because they were probed by the same investigators, he added.
KPK suspects who had been convicted could also utilize Hadi's pretrial decision as the basis to file appeals to overturn their convictions.
The KPK law stipulates that 'investigators within the KPK are recruited by the KPK.'
But South Jakarta District judge Haswandi argued that the article did not mean that the KPK was allowed to recruit investigators from outside the police or the prosecutor's office.
The KPK had named Hadi a suspect for his decision during his time as the Finance Ministry's director general of taxation between 2002 and 2004 to unilaterally approve a request by Bank Central Asia (BCA) for income-tax leniency. The decision caused more than Rp 3 trillion (US$230 million) in state losses. (ren) (++++)
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