Military Says KPK Can Use Its Detention Facility Without Interference
Ezra Sihite & Farouk Arnaz
The Corruption Eradication Commission has been assured it will have full control over the detention facility it is currently borrowing from the military.
Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Adm. Agus Suhartono said that although the facility is owned by the military, the antigraft body known as the KPK will supervise the facility and have control over it.
“What [you] need to know is that the asset is owned by the military but the management, supervision, can be run by KPK,” Agus said on Tuesday.
He made the remarks following criticism from lawmakers that the KPK should have tried to borrow a detention facility from the police or prosecutors office first. Speculation arose that the KPK was avoiding police facilities because of the potential for police officers to be held in an ongoing investigation, a move that has the potential to create conflicts of interest among other officers.
Agus said the military will review the Memorandum of Understanding related to the lending of the detention facility to see if it violates the law. If it does constitute a violation, Agus said, the military will regain control of the facility.
“But if it’s going to help with the corruption fight, well then let’s do something good together,” he added.
He said the plan to lend the facility to the KPK should not be seen as a sign of conflict between the KPK and the police, because the fight against corruption is the responsibility of every citizen.
“They [the KPK] has to work together with all elements in the country,” Agus said. “That includes the citizens and the military.”
Meanwhile, the National Police went ahead and removed 14 of its members who had been working as KPK investigators.
“Fourteen out of 20 investigators whose terms have expired, have reported back to the National Police headquarters,” said National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar. “We’re waiting for the rest to report back and we’re preparing 20 people to replace them.”
The KPK has been lobbying the National Police to not withdraw its 20 investigators, who have been helping the antigraft body solve major cases.
The KPK secretary general visited the National Police on Monday, and is believed to have sought an extension to the assignments of the 20 investigators.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi said that four are senior investigators whose work periods at the KPK have expired. The commission was hoping to keep the remaining 16, because four have been appointed as task force or team leaders, while the remaining 12 were in the midst of other cases.
But the KPK’s appeal appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
The two law enforcement agencies have long fought over who has jurisdiction to investigate a driving simulator procurement scandal that allegedly involved several police generals and is reported to have cost the state at least Rp 100 billion ($10.5 million) in losses.
The police soon after the KPK began its probe said they were going to withdraw their 20 investigators from the agency, a move likely to hinder its ability to investigate corruption cases.
The police then sent 14 officers, including 10 generals, to the KPK to replace the 20 investigators, but they were all rejected by agency.
The KPK said it was training 20 new investigators in an attempt to replace those who left or will be leaving. That will still leave several cases in limbo.
The recruits were to have undergone training through Australian and US law enforcement agencies.
A police officer who declined to be identified said the KPK was being unreasonable in rejecting the officers.
The generals turned down by the KPK included Ronny Frankie Sompie (supervision and investigation bureau chief), Syahrul Mama (South Sulawesi Police deputy chief), Ari Dono (criminal director) and Nur Ali (antigraft director).