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Jakarta Post

Police stop probe into land conversion case involving North Sumatra bigwig's kin

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Mon, December 23, 2019   /   04:56 pm
Police stop probe into land conversion case involving North Sumatra bigwig's kin The North Sumatra Police have stopped an investigation into a oil palm plantation land conversion case involving the younger brother of North Sumatra Deputy Governor Musa Rajekshah. (Shutterstock/File)

The North Sumatra Police have stopped an investigation into an oil palm plantation land conversion case involving North Sumatra Deputy Governor Musa Rajekshah’s younger brother.

“We have stopped [the investigation] because the case files that we sent to the prosecutor’s office have been sent back five times,” North Sumatra Police special crimes investigation director Sr. Comr. Rony Samtana told reporters on Saturday.

Rony said the police had tried to add to the case files but the prosecutor’s office kept sending the files back, saying they were incomplete.

In February, the police named Musa Idishah, Rajekshah’s brother and the son of palm oil businessman Anif Shah, a suspect in relation to the alleged conversion of 366 hectares of land in the regency’s three districts – Sei Lepan, West Brandan and Besitang. The police said the land was protected forest.

Idishah, the director of PT Anugerah Langkat Makmur (ALAM), was accused of violating Law No. 18/2013 on the prevention of forest clearing and destruction, Law No. 39/2014 on plantations and Law No. 32/2009 on environmental protection and management.

Rajekshah previously implied his brother had been targeted for political reasons, saying that other companies had oil palm plantations in the area.

Rajekshah and North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi won the 2018 regional election after being backed by the Gerindra Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the Golkar Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the NasDem Party.

“There are many plantations in the location, not just [ones belonging to] PT ALAM. If the regulation is really in force, it should be applied equally. Why would only one company come up [in the case]?” Rajekshah said after being questioned by the police in February.

Some have speculated that the case came to light on account of the family’s support for then-presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto. A 17-minute video about a raid at the family’s house went viral shortly before Rajekshah was questioned. Prabowo has since been named defense minister in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Cabinet.

In the video, a woman, later identified as Wara, the sister of Rajekshah and Idishah, can be seen confronting police officers. “[The reason for this case is] not clear, right? We are obliged to vote for [candidate number] one but we refused, so this is why you all have come here, right? Traitor,” Wara said to the police, referring to Jokowi’s candidate number in the 2019 presidential election.

The North Sumatra Police have denied any allegations that the case was driven by politics, saying that it had been under investigation since December 2018.

“This land conversion case is purely a matter of law enforcement. It has nothing to do with politics,” North Sumatra Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Tatan Dirsan Atmaja said. (kmt)