Anti-Corruption Court Judges Named as Graft Suspects

By webadmin on 02:49 pm Aug 18, 2012
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Antara & Ezra Sihite

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has named two anti-corruption court judges as bribery suspects in relation to the graft case involving the car maintenance budget of the Grobogan Legislative Council (DPRD Grobogan) in Central Java.

“The KPK has issued an investigation letter regarding three suspects: HK, KJM and SD,” said KPK spokesman Johan Budi on Friday night, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Kartini Juliani Marpaung (KJM) is the ad hoc judge of the Semarang anti-corruption court, the same court that handled the car maintenance budget case including M. Yaeni, the speaker of DPRD Grobogan), as the suspect. Heru Kusbandono (HK) is the ad hoc judge of the Pontianak anti-corruption court. Sri Dartuti (SD) allegedly acted as a middleman between Yaeni and the judges.

Kartini and Heru were arrested by the KPK while receiving Rp 150 million from Dartuti in the parking lot of the Semarang district court. Kartini is currently in custody at the KPK’s detention center and Sri is being detained at Pondok Bambu detention center in Jakarta. It is unclear where Heru is being held.

Earlier, Kartini instructed Heru — who was also a middleman — to tell Dartuti to hand over the money at Kartini’s house on Thursday afternoon. However, the plan changed and they delayed the transfer until Friday. As a result, Dartuti gave the money to Heru in the parking lot of the Bank Central Asia office in Semarang. She was arrested shortly afterward.

Heru then brought the cash to the parking lot of the Semarang district court, the location he met Kartini at. Briefly following the hand-off, both of them were arrested by KPK investigators.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Marzuki Alie, remarked that the case demonstrates how the salary of anti-corruption court judges is far too low.

“People consider judges as representatives of God, but they only are ordinary human beings that can give in to temptation, especially given the fact that a judge’s salary is so meager.”

The deputy speaker of the People’s Consulative Assembly, Hajriyanto Thohari,
said that the case shows how bad corruption in Indonesia truly is.

“The
condition of our country is so bad,” Hajriyanto said on Saturday. “It
was just yesterday President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono delivered a very
good speech about how to handle the corruption that has spread into
the executive, legislative and judicial branches. It [the arrest] is a ‘little
present’ from the KPK to the president.”

House Commission III, the body that oversees legal affairs, will evaluate the performance of the Anti-Corruption court soon.

“Since
the beginning, the recruitment of judges that would be assigned to
anti-corruption courts was far from ideal. It is forcefully done in order to
meet the requirement of the Anti-Corruption court,” Nasir Jamil, deputy
chairman of House Commission III, said on Saturday.

He said that judges with “grey” backgrounds, or with no clear track
record, should be laid off. He also suggested that the KPK should be
involved in recruiting anti-corruption court judges.

“The Supreme
Court, the government and the House of Representative should take the initiative to
consider whether we still needs anti-corruption courts,” he said. “If the
court exists without having honest, brave and professional judges, it
can be predicted that the anti-corruption court will indeed become a
haven for corruption.”