Jakarta – A police general has allegedly ordered his subordinates to falsify information contained in a travel letter issued to allow graft convict Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra to travel within the country while he was a fugitive.
Prosecutors from the Attorney General's Office read their indictment against Brig. Gen. Prasetyo Utomo, the former head of the Civil Servant Investigators Supervisory and Coordination Bureau at the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim), during a hearing on Tuesday.
Prosecutors also wrote in the indictment letter that the one-star police general had ordered his subordinates to burn the letter to eliminate any evidence linking him to the fugitive.
"On June 3, the defendant ordered a witness, Dodi Jaya, to issue a letter for travel to Pontianak, West Kalimantan, in the defendant's office," a prosecutor read from the indictment at the East Jakarta District Court, as quoted by kompas.com.
According to the indictment, Prasetyo instructed Dodi to alter several details in the letter, including the purpose of the travel to Pontianak. The letter, initially intended for a business trip related to a mining project, was allegedly changed to an inspection of COVID-19 mitigation measures in the region.
Furthermore, the general purportedly altered the letterhead to make the document seem as though it was officially issued by his office.
Following news reports of the travel letter, Prasetyo allegedly ordered the document to be destroyed.
"The defendant was worried about the news reports and instructed [witness] Jhony Andijanto to burn the letters used to assist Djoko's travels," prosecutors read from the indictment.
Jhony proceeded to burn the travel letters, a medical certificate declaring the suspect negative for COVID-19 and health recommendation letters signed by Prasetyo for Djoko and his lawyer Anita Kolopaking. He sent a photo of the paper remains to Prasetyo as proof.
AGO prosecutors also read indictment letters against Djoko and Anita on Tuesday, accusing them of using fabricated travel letters to travel across the country while the convict was wanted by police.
Djoko told the judges that he would read a refutation plea against the indictment during a hearing on Oct. 20, said Djoko's lawyer Soesilo Aribowo, as quoted by tribunnews.com.
However, he stopped short of disclosing the defendant's points of objection.
The fiasco surrounding Djoko's sudden return to Indonesia also implicates two other high-ranking police generals.
They are the head of the National Police's international relations division, Insp. Gen. Napoleon Bonaparte, and the secretary of the National Central Bureau (NCB) Interpol Indonesia, Brig. Gen. Nugroho Wibowo. They allegedly played roles in helping Djoko travel within the country.
National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono said investigators had detained Napoleon and Nugroho on Wednesday as they had completed their probe against both generals, kompas.com reported. Investigators were expected to hand over the case to the prosecutors soon, Awi went on to say.
Djoko was convicted in 2009 for his role in the 1998 Bank Bali corruption case. The Supreme Court sentenced him to two years in prison and ordered him to pay Rp 546 billion (US$54 million), but he fled the country a day before his conviction and remained at large for years. (rfa)