House Legal Bureau to Represent Speaker in Trial Over University Remarks
Markus Junianto Sihaloho
A Central Jakarta court will this week hear a lawsuit against House of Representatives Speaker Marzuki Alie following remarks the speaker made last month that named several prominent universities as sources of corruptors.
Marzuki on Wednesday asked House Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, to act as his defense counsel in the case filed by lawyer David Tobing, but after deliberation it was decided that the legal bureau of the House secretary general’s office would instead provide counsel.
Marzuki himself said he was reluctant to ask the commission to defend and represent him, but he wanted to follow proper procedures.
“It doesn’t feel right, as Commission III is too important to just deal with David, and therefore the legal bureau will suffice. Do not belittle Commission III. We should not aim at a mosquito with a cannon; anti-mosquito coils would suffice,” he said.
The hearing of the case is due to open on Thursday.
Marzuki ruffled feathers last month when he said that many corrupt officials were graduates of Indonesia’s most prominent and respected universities. Speaking at the University of Indonesia in May, he said most of those serving jail time for graft were alumni of top state universities, naming several including the University of Indonesia
The remarks caused an uproar online and offline among the three state universities’ alumni. David, a University of Indonesia alumnus, filed a lawsuit against Marzuki and demanded that the speaker apologize and retract his “derogatory remarks.”