Ilham Oktafian, Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Chairman Firli Bahuri has been barred from traveling abroad after being named a suspect in an extortion case investigated by the Jakarta Police, a lead investigator said on Friday.
Firli stands accused of allegedly pressuring then Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo for monetary gains before the latter faced corruption charges brought forth by the KPK. Subsequently, Syahrul submitted his resignation to the president to focus on the legal proceedings.
"In support of the ongoing investigation, investigators have officially requested the Immigration Directorate to impose a travel ban on KPK Chairman Firli Bahuri," said Chief Comr. Ade Safri Simanjuntak, the director of special crimes investigation within the Jakarta Police.
According to the Criminal Procedures Code, the travel ban spans 20 days but can be extended if deemed necessary.
Ade indicated that all four KPK deputies – Alexander Marwata, Johanis Tanak, Nawawi Pomolango, and Nurul Ghufron – will be summoned for questioning, adding that witness depositions are set to resume on Monday.
While not divulging specific details, Ade mentioned that Firli had allegedly accepted "multiple payments."
A day earlier, KPK Deputy Chairman Alexander Marwata affirmed that Firli's legal issues would not impede the commission's operations. He reiterated the commitment to continue the graft investigation against Syahrul, asserting that the police's inquiry into Firli's extortion case and the KPK's probe into the corruption scandal involving Syahrul are distinct and unrelated matters.
Meanwhile, Syahrul's pre-trial motion contesting his corruption charges has been dismissed by the judge.
Separately, the KPK's supervisory body revealed that it has urged the president to suspend Firli from his chairman role, citing the law stipulating the suspension of the commission's chairman and other commissioners in case they become criminal suspects.
The KPK is an ad-hoc body introduced in 2004 to tackle corruption, labeled as an "extra-ordinary crime" in the country, and has since prosecuted many active cabinet members, lawmakers, governors, regents, mayors, and other top government officials for stealing money from the state.