Anti-Corruption Weekly Digest: November 16-20, 2015

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Ethical Breach Allegation by DPR Chairman

The Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR) Setya Novanto returned to the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Sudirman Said reported Novanto to the Parliamentary Court of Honor (MKD) for using the President's name in negotiation of a permit for PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI). Said remarked that Novanto promised a settlement about Freeport's contract extension.

Later, ESDM Ministry submitted a recording about the meeting between Setya Novanto and Freeport officials as evidence to MKD on Wednesday (18/11). The supposed recording, which had since been circulating online, featured the voices of Setya Novanto, businessman Reza Chalid across Freeport officials.

The case immediately absorbed public attention. This is indicated by 6,500 signatures recorded within the first 24 hour for a petition initiated by A Setiawan Abadi for MKD, the National Police, and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) at the site change.org. The petition detailed how Setya Novanto allegedly abuse legislative authority, manipulate information, and conduct defamation.

If Novanto should be proven to have misused of the President's name and profit from it, then there are a number of measure that can be considered as solution. First of all, to complete the process of ethical breach allegation at MKD as reported by the ESDM Minister, as MKD have an obligation to salvage the dignity of the parliament. This is not the first time that Novanto is confronted with MKD. Previously, he was also reported to MKD for his meeting with Donald Trump. MKD found his presence at Trump's campaign rally to be inappropriate, especially since Novanto claimed to Trump that the people of Indonesia adored him. Eventually the public saw that MKD's investigation in that case was halfhearted since MKD only have a light sanction.

Second, the use of the President's name for personal gain should be seen as fraud, since the President himself have repeatedly deny ever endorsing Novanto to negotiate on his behalf. Within the perspective of the national law, such a fraud have criminal law consequences. According to article 378 of the criminal code (KUHP), any person who intend to profit against the law with false identity using scam or an array of fraud to make other people submit any object for himself, is liable for imprisonment up to four years. At this point, the Police can take proactive action without waiting for complaint, since the crime of fraud is not an offense warranting complaint.

Third, KPK can also be involved to investigate the fraud. Corruption eradication is not always about enforcement, there are also preventive dimensions involved. In this case, it is framed in an effort to secure the nation's natural resources, particularly in mining. KPK can evaluate mining process and activities operated by Freeport: does it have benefit for Indonesia or is it only causing harm. This evaluation would also scrutinize the licensing process of which Freeport is currently trying to extend.

In order to reinstate public trust to the parliament, MKD need to process this report optimally. Hopefully, this time, the examination process against Novanto will not repeat the one involving his affair with Trump. Furthermore, the Police and KPK need not to wait, since this case clearly have potential criminal and corruption offenses. The priority must be to rescue national resources in the mining sector.***

 

Withdrawing prominent prosecutors from KPK

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutor Yudi Kristiana is to be withdrawn back to the Attorney General's Office. According to pan, Yudi will be transferred to their training center (pusdiklat) with the rank of a third echelon officer. Many regret this decision since Yudi is considered as one of the most prominent prosecutors working in KPK.

During his service, Yudi holds a central role in prosecuting big cases in KPK. Among others, the case of Bank Century that implicated former Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia, Budi Mulya. Yudi also handled prosecution of corruption and money laundering of project funds for Hambalang constructions which implicated former General Chairman of the Democrat Party, Anas Urbaningrum. Yudi, acting as the prosecution team leader, charged Anas with 15 years of jail term, about Rp 50 billion for recovering state losses, and removal of his political rights.

The most recent and still ongoing case on Yudi's desk is the alleged corruption by former Secretary General of National Democrat Party (NasDem) Rio Capella and lawyer Otto Cornelis Kaligis. Yudi is tasked to lead prosecution in both cases. Intriguingly, Yudi was withdrawn immediately after witnesses in these cases mentioned that briberies were also prepared for the Attorney General himself as well as each Directors of Investigation. Inevitably, there have been public speculations that the withdrawal was a move to cripple KPK. The public suspect that if the withdrawal is to proceed, then KPK's performance in prosecution will be impaired.

Under the applied provisions, the prosecution function of KPK cannot recruit their own prosecutors and entirely depends on prosecutors supplied by the Attorney General's Office, since prosecution function is singular and attached to AGO prosecutors. Consequently, AGO can withdraw any prosecutor assigned to KPK at any given time.

Withdrawal of KPK employees assigned from other institution is regulated under the Government's Decree No. 103/2012 about the Human Resources Management System of KPK. According to article 5A, there are 3 grounds that must be met to proceed with withdrawal of employees back to their institution of origin. First, the employee must have been stationed for at least 4 years. Second, the purpose of withdrawal is for career building. And third, the employee must have finished all duties and responsibilities assigned.

Referring to that regulation, then the withdrawal of Yudi back to AGO should be reconsidered. Yudi still have duties and responsibilities to lead prosecutions. He also still have another two years of his mandatory assignment in KPK. On the other hand, this withdrawal also creates a negative perspective in the eye of the public, since the Attorney General himself is appointed from the political party NasDem (the same party with Rio Capella). The public suspect that Yudi is being withdrawn because he began to touch upon and disturb certain political interests.

In observation of the above, it would be appropriate if the Attorney General call off their effort to withdraw Yudi from his current post until he accomplishes all his responsibilities. That way, negative perspective can be straightened, while prosecution can continue optimally and uninhibited.***

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