M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi has spoken up about calls for the government to immediately revise Law No. 5 of 1986 on Military Justice. The demand came after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested two active-duty members of the Indonesian Military (TNI) for alleged corruption at the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).
The case was then taken over by the National Military Police (Puspom TNI) and could not be tried in the Corruption Court. "We are not there yet," he said briefly at the ASEAN Secretariat in South Jakarta on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.
Previously, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD agreed with the idea of revising the Military Justice Law. "Yes, we will schedule it later. It is already listed in the national legislation program, the long-term program. We can talk about it later and when it is prioritized. I agree that it needs to be discussed immediately," Mahfud said in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.
Mahfud said he had considered the proposal. For now, however, he believes that the case is best handled by the Puspom TNI because Law No. 31 of 1997 is still in effect.
Mahfud also said he believed the Military Police would complete the case. "I believe so. We coordinated it for a day, and the suspect status was declared immediately," he claimed.
KPK named Basarnas Chief Marshal Henri Alfiandi and Administrative Staff Coordinator, Lieutenant Colonel Afri Budi Cahyanto, as suspects in an alleged corruption case of procurement projects at Basarnas. However, the case was handed over to Puspom TNI for investigation through military mechanisms.
The Civil Coalition for Security Reform lamented that the KPK's apology and handover of the alleged corruption case to the Puspom as those could damage the law enforcement against corruption in Indonesia.
This Civil Coalition is composed of multi-sectoral organizations, including Imparsial, Elsam, Centra Initiative, PBHI Nasional, WALHI, YLBHI, Amnesty International Indonesia, Public Virtue, Forum de Facto, KontraS, LBH Pers, ICW, LBH Masyarakat, HRWG, ICJR, LBH Jakarta, LBH Malang, Setara Institute, AJI Jakarta, and AlDP.
The coalition emphasized that Law No. 31 of 1997 serves as a loophole because corruption cases involving the TNI could not be investigated quickly and thoroughly. Besides, it has often been used as a means of impunity and an alibi for not trying TNI soldiers in general courts. Therefore, the coalition urged the government and the Parliament immediately revise the law.