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Yudhoyono declares antigraft body to solely handle simulator case
Publication Date : 09-10-2012
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has finally announced that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) should be the only law enforcement agency to handle the National Police driving simulator procurement graft case.
Yudhoyono said in a televised speech yesterday night that the National Police must hand over the 200 billion rupiah (US$21.2 million) graft case at the National Police Traffic Corps, in which police Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo is the main suspect, to the KPK.
"The KPK will also investigate the implication of other officials related to the case," he said, adding that the provision was in compliance with Article 50 of Law No. 30/2002 on the KPK's authority in investigating graft cases. The article stipulates that the National Police and the Attorney General's Office should halt investigations into a graft case once the KPK takes over the probe.
He, however, said that that the police would probe other fraudulent procurement projects within the institution.
The KPK named Susilo (Djoko) as the main suspect in early August and alleged that he had abused his authority to enrich himself and others and caused state losses of 190 billion rupiah in the procurement of 700 two-wheel and 556 four-wheel vehicle simulators last year.
Although the KPK was the first institution to probe the case, the National Police insisted on their own investigation.
The case has increased tensions between the two law enforcement agencies. The rift widened when a number of police officers summoned to give statements on the case failed to honour the summons. The police then withdrew 20 personnel seconded to the KPK as investigators.
In the latest controversial move by the police, some officers attempted over the weekend to arrest Comr. Novel Baswedan, the chief investigator in the simulator case, over an allegation that he was responsible for the shooting of robbery suspects when serving as Bengkulu Police chief detective in 2004.
An official with the Presidential Palace, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, said that such a move was a "warning" intended to deter the commission from pursuing other cases implicating the police.
Among the cases, according to the official, were those related to the provision of public services, such as collecting bribes to issue vehicle transfer documents, driver’s licenses and motor-vehicle registration documents.
Claiming to be coordinating to resolve the rift, the two institutions have been unable to reach a consensus. The case has drawn nationwide attention and resulted in demands that Yudhoyono take stern action.