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Jakarta Post

Police step up investigation into graft buster assault case

  • Kharishar Kahfi and Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta and Yogyakarta   /   Fri, February 8, 2019   /   07:19 am
Police step up investigation into graft buster assault case Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesperson Febri Diansyah. (Antara/Aprillio Akbar)

The police have proceeded to a fully fledged criminal investigation of the reported assault on two Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators who were assigned to tail several Papuan officials at a Jakarta hotel, the antigraft body says.

“According to the information we have received from the Jakarta Police, they will use the result of medical examinations of our injured employees as evidence,” KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said in Jakarta on Thursday.

“This should confirm the allegations of assault on the on-duty officers [...] and dismiss claims made by other parties regarding the incident at the hotel. The remaining task is to look for potential suspects.”

The incident occurred on Saturday night at the Borobudur Hotel in Central Jakarta, where officials from the Papua provincial administration, including Governor Lukas Enembe, were holding a meeting with Papua Legislative Council (DPRD) members to discuss the province’s 2019 draft budget.

At that time, an administration staff member noticed that one of the two KPK investigators positioned in the hotel was taking photographs of the officials. The Papua officials subsequently detained the KPK employees.

According to the antigraft body, its investigators were then assaulted, resulting in injuries, including a broken nose that required surgery. The KPK reported the assault to the Jakarta Police on Sunday afternoon.

The Papua administration, however, has rejected the KPK’s narrative. Its spokesperson, Gilbert Yakwar, denied the assault or indeed that any sort of altercation occurred between the two sides.

“Regarding the issue of assault on the two officials resulting in surgery to the nose and/or face, we need to reiterate that this is not true,” he said in a statement on Monday. “There was only pushing involved because [the administration officials] became emotional about being suspected of bribery and part of a KPK raid.”

Febri added that the antigraft body appreciated the Jakarta Police’s swift response in investigating the case.

One of the injured investigators, identified as Muhammad Gilang, remained under medical treatment at the hospital after undergoing successful surgery on Monday.

Jakarta Police investigators on Wednesday questioned at least five witnesses in the case.

“The witnesses include three security guards, a security camera operator and a hotel receptionist,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono said on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com.

He added that investigators had sent security camera footage depicting the alleged assault to the National Police’s forensics laboratory.

Antigraft activists, including Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) and Transparency International Indonesia, have called on the police to thoroughly investigate the case in order to prevent similar attacks from recurring in the future.

The Anti-Corruption Study Center (PUKAT) at Gadjah Mada University added its voice on Wednesday, demanding that the police solve the case once and for all so similar attacks would not disrupt the commission’s fight against corruption.

“Law enforcers should provide protection to KPK leaders and employees in conducting their work,” PUKAT researcher Oce Madril said.

Meanwhile on Thursday, the KPK named House of Representatives lawmaker Sukiman and the acting head of the public works agency in Pegunungan Arfak, West Papua, Natan Pasombo, suspects in a graft case related to the deliberations of fiscal transfers allocated for the regency in the 2017 revised State Budget and 2018 State Budget.

Febri stressed the case was not related to Saturday’s alleged assault.