Panji Satrio, Medan – A suspect involved in document fraud was released from the Medan Metropolitan Police's detention facility after a group of soldiers, including his relative, visited the police office on Saturday to discuss the legal case.
The relative is identified as Major Dedi Hasibuan, who came to the Medan Metropolitan Police headquarters accompanied by colleagues from the Bukit Barisan Military Command in North Sumatra. Some of the visiting soldiers were seen wearing military uniforms.
The purpose of the soldiers' visit was to gather information about the legal case against the suspect, identified by the initials ARH, said North Sumatra Police spokesman Chief Comr. Hadi Wahyudi. The suspect is facing allegations of land document forgery and is also under investigation for a vehicle theft case.
Hadi said the soldiers' visit aimed to understand the details of the case involving the suspect, who is reported to be a relative of Major Dedi. However, Hadi did not elaborate on the specific family connection between the two individuals.
While the Military Police can take over cases involving service members from the police, soldiers do not have the authority to intervene in criminal cases concerning civilian suspects.
Hadi said that Major Dedi visited the police office on behalf of the suspect's family and requested the suspect's release during the ongoing investigation.
Hadi also acknowledged that there may have been a "misunderstanding" during the course of the investigation, which led to the decision to release the suspect.
The incident came amid mounting public debate about intervention by military units in criminal cases handled by civilian authorities after two high-ranking officers were arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Head Air Marshal Henri Alfiandi and his subordinate Lie. Col. Afri Budi Cahyanto were arrested by the KPK last week for allegedly accepting billions of rupiah in bribe money from businessmen who won procurement projects from the agency.
A day later, the top brass of the Military Police visited the KPK building, demanding to take over the case against the two suspects while assuring the public that both men will remain graft suspects to be court-martialed.
Legal analysts have suggested that corruption cases against service members should be tried by civilian courts.