When the Suspect Yells as the Victim

In the midst of an effort to crack down on and suppress corruption, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has been accused of acting like the PKI or Gestapo and of choosing victims that satisfy political interests instead of eradicating corruption. This satire is often spouted by parties that have a relationship with a corruption suspect, and they try to create an impression that the figures accused of corruption are the victims of the fierceness of the KPK.

It’s still fresh in the memory how Anas Urbaningrum’s lawyer team reacted  against the way the KPK handled his case.  His team even went so far as to compare the KPK’s tactics with the way the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) works. Urbaningrum’s legal team considered the summons for their client as unclear, especially on the statement “other projects.” They also did not accept the Commission’s aggressive efforts to seize their client’s property, which is alleged to have resulted from the embezzlement of public money through the sports complex project in Hambalang, Bogor. In the end, despite their vocal protestations, Urbaningrum remains in jail awaiting trial.

Referring to the summons issue, Indonesia Youth Statesmen Forum Coordinator (FNMI) Mohammad Harun Al Rashid Shikka Songge assumes the meaning of the summons is biased and arbitrary.  He believes the arbitrariness happening in the name of law is based on an authoritarian institution. Such action can injure the meaning of democracy and can also indicate an order was given to the Commission to immediately arrest Urbaningrum. According to Al Rashid, the method in which the Commission executed its summons does not have educative value for development or law enforcement in Indonesia.

As we can see, what the Commission has been doing so far is indeed a form of law enforcement. First, the Commission is performing its duties as already set in the 2002 legislation. Second, using the Urbaningrum case as example again, is not fair that the Hambalang corruption case and other corruption cases do not have a clear end.  The Commission will continue to receive insults from the public when they do not perform.

Interestingly, the KPK has announced that the former Chairman of the Democratic Party has been one of the suspects in the case surrounding the construction of sports facilities in Hambalang since February 2013. The reason why the KPK has not jailed him is because it needs more time to preapare its evidence. While waiting for the Commission “to prepare the evidence,” Urbaningrum has busy launching maneuvers, some of which include publicly announcing that the president has a conspirancy to put him in the corner.  He also plans to form a youth organisation, which would make him appear more sympathetic as an oppressed victim of a conspiracy who was attacked because of his efforts to achieve government change. Let us compare this with the bribery case involving imported beef involving Lutfi Hasan. Little more than 15 hours after he became a suspect the KPK put himbehind bars. This is what we call law enforcement on the right track.

In the name of democracy, anyone is entitled to give his opinion. However, some opinions only add drama to a legal process that somehow has to happen as it is. The drama is getting ridiculous when the actor accused of corruption appears with a brave face and presents himself as a political victim.

About Rina Hutajulu 17 Articles
Rina Hutajulu is an independent journalist for the Dekker Centre focusing on political studies of civil society movements and environmental issues in Indonesia. She writes for various on line media and print media as well. Rina is based in Jakarta.

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