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Jakarta Post

Watchdogs question light punishment given to KPK chief Firli Bahuri

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, September 24, 2020   /   05:57 pm
Watchdogs question light punishment given to KPK chief Firli Bahuri Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Firli Bahuri greets journalists before giving a press conference on a graft case pertaining to a fictitious project of state-owned construction firm PT Waskita Karya at the KPK headquarters in Jakarta on July 23, 2020. (Antara/M. Risyal Hidayat)

Antigraft watchdogs have questioned a light punishment given to Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chief Firli Bahuri by the commission’s supervisory board over an ethics violation.

After multiple hearings over the past weeks, the board’s panel on Wednesday declared Firli guilty of ethics violation for displaying a “hedonistic lifestyle”. The case was opened following a public report that the chief used a private helicopter for a personal trip in June.

However, the panel only handed down a light sentence in the form of a written reprimand for Firli’s first ethics violation. 

In a quick response, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) said Firli deserved a harsher punishment for the violation, namely removal from his current position as the KPK chief.

ICW researcher Kurnia Ramadhana argued that the 2019 KPK Law mandates leaders of the antigraft commission to never commit acts of disgrace, in addition to being competent, honest, having high integrity and a good reputation.

Read also: ‘My salary is enough to rent a helicopter’: KPK chair Firli Bahuri denies violating ethics

“The supervisory board's decision on Firli has made it more difficult for the KPK to improve its reputation, which is already deteriorating. The light sanctions can set a precedent for other employees or leaders in cases of similar violations,” Kurnia said in a statement on Thursday.

In addition, Indonesian Anti-Corruption Community (MAKI) coordinator Boyamin Saiman, who reported the helicopter ride to the supervisory board, expressed his disappointment as he previously suggested to the panel that Firli should be demoted to deputy chief if he was found guilty of ethics violation.

“I’m a little disappointed, but even the written reprimand should be a heavy enough [punishment] for Firli,” Boyamin said Thursday. “With the warning, please end all controversy and work seriously, make the maximum effort for corruption eradication”.

In Thursday’s press conference, chairperson Tumpak Hatorangan Panggabean said the supervisory council would not develop the helicopter ride case. He added that no allegations of gratuity were proven amid reports that Firli received discounts for the ride, in addition to the helicopter taxi company being linked to a graft suspect.