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Jakarta Post

Former Bareskrim head Idham Azis inaugurated as National Police chief

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano and Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, November 1, 2019   /   12:31 pm
Former Bareskrim head Idham Azis inaugurated as National Police chief At your command: The sole candidate for National Police chief, Comr. Gen. Idham Azis (second right), and his wife, Fitri Handari (right), welcome members of House Commission III, which oversees human rights, security and legal affairs, to their residence in South Jakarta on Wednesday. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo inaugurated on Friday Gen. Idham Azis as the new National Police chief, replacing Tito Karnavian who has been tapped to lead the Home Ministry.

Jokowi also promoted Idham ─ the former National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) head ─ from a three-star police general to four-star general.

"The President has instructed me to work, work and work," Idham told reporters after his swearing-in ceremony at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Friday.

When asked about his priority programs, Idham declined to comment, saying that he had elaborated on his future programs during his confirmation hearing with the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

"I will follow up [on my program] soon after the handover ceremony with the home minister, which is scheduled for Nov. 6," he said.

Idham, the sole candidate for the top cop position, went through a confirmation hearing at the House Commission III overseeing human rights, security and legal affairs on Wednesday, during which lawmakers unanimously backed the former chief of detectives.

During the interview, he expressed his commitment to solving cases that had raised public concerns, including terrorism, land and forest fires, the unsolved acid attack against Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) top investigator Novel Baswedan, the deaths of two student protesters in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, allegedly by the hands of security officers, and cases surrounding the conflict-ridden Papua.

Speaking to lawmakers, Idham outlined his priority programs as National Police chief, which includes improving the skills and quality of police officers and ordering his subordinates to refrain from exerting violence while dealing with protestors.

As for Novel's case, which remains shrouded in mystery despite months of investigation by a fact-finding team led by Idham himself, the general told reporters that he would appoint a new chief detective to continue the investigation.

Prior to his appointment as Bareskrim head, Idham ─ who was known to have worked closely with Tito ─ had led the Jakarta Police since July 2017. 

The 56-year-old previously served in the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism squad, where together with Tito, he reportedly captured one of the masterminds behind the Bali Bombings, Azhari Husin, in 2005.

Both were involved in a special task force established to uncover and prevent terrorist attacks in Poso, Central Sulawesi, from 2005 to 2007.

Idham was also a member of the Cobra Team led by Tito, which was tasked with tracking down the youngest son of former president Soeharto, Hutomo “Tommy” Mandala Putra, in connection with the murder of chief justice Syafiuddin Kartasasmita on Aug. 7, 2000.

Tommy was sentenced to 10 years in prison and released in 2006. (ars)