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Indonesia's top police official removed on graft allegation
Publication Date : 05-08-2012
The National Police of Indonesia officially removed Inspector General Djoko Susilo from his position as head of the National Police Academy yesterday, five days after he was named a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
The police also suspended Brigadier General Didik Purnomo, Adj. Senior Commissioner Teddy Rusmawan and another police officer for their alleged involvement in a fraudulent procurement case.
The three policemen were locked in detention cells at the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Headquarters in Kelapa Dua, Depok.
“It’s true that three police officers and a civilian have been arrested,” police spokesman Brigadier General Boy Rafly Amar said yesterday.
Djoko was named a suspect after KPK investigators raided the office of the National Police Traffic Corps in South Jakarta from Monday through to Tuesday. Djoko was chief of the traffic corps and Didik was his deputy when the alleged illicit procurement took place.
The KPK’s move of naming Djoko — and later Didik and Teddy — as suspects irked the National Police, which then swiftly also named Didik, Teddy and other civilians as suspects in its own investigation.
Many believe the police’s persistence to launch the investigation is nothing more than an effort to contain the KPK probe. The tensions worsened when the police challenged the KPK to bring the spat to court.
“We will continue to investigate the case unless there is a court ruling ordering us to desist,” National Police detective chief Comr. Gen. Sutarman said on Friday.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who appointed the National Police chief, was expected to help settle the spat, but had not yet commented on the issue.
According to presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha, the President had ordered the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto to handle the matter.
However, at a press briefing on yesterday, Djoko did not give any specific solutions to the issue. He simply said the public should not make the question of which institution was handling the case a big issue.
“The two institutions [the KPK and police] have agreed to cooperate in dealing with this case. Djoko Susilo will be handled by KPK while other suspects will be handled by the National Police,” said Djoko.
“I suggest the media focus on the legal process of this case rather than focusing their reports on which institutions should handle the case,” he added.
“We urge both institutions to hold a meeting and formulate the handling of this case, and also to clarify with the media on this,” Djoko said.
In addition, police watchdog the National Police Commission (Kompolnas) previously argued that the police should fully hand over the case to the KPK to avoid a conflict of interest.
“Even though the police may not intend to be biased, graft cases involving police officers should be handled by another institution. In this case, the KPK should handle it,” said Adrianus Meliala.
“Why have the police suddenly named suspects and detained those involved in the case after the KPK has already started it? Do the National Police really intend to resolve the case or do they intend to protect a group of people?” Adrianus asked.
Agus Sunaryanto, the head of Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) investigation division, echoed Adrianus by saying that the professionalism of the police could be measured by their willingness to hand over the case to the KPK.
“What the KPK is trying to do is to add professionalism to the police and to remove the assumption of a conflict of interest,” Agus said.
“This case should be handled by the KPK because the National Police can issue a warrant to terminate the investigation, while the KPK cannot,” he added.