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KPK, Novel Baswedan 'let down' by fact-finding team

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Jakarta Post - July 18, 2019

Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator Novel Baswedan has expressed his deep disappointment with the results of a fact-finding team that failed to solve the acid attack on him that occurred more than two years ago, the KPK workers' union has said.

"Novel [met] with us and said that he was very disappointed with the fact-finding team because [the results of the investigation] made him, the victim, feel even more dejected," KPK workers' union head Yudi Purnomo Harahap said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.

Two unidentified men threw acid on Novel's face as he was heading home on April 11, 2017 after performing the morning prayer at a nearby mosque in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.

Yudi added that the fact-finding investigation had crushed Novel's and the KPK's expectations, as it had failed to identify any suspects in the case.

"Our hope [was] in vain," he said, adding that the results of the investigation "might instead increase public distrust."

The fact-finding team – comprised mostly of police officers – has spent the last six months investigating the case since it was established in January by National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian. The team submitted its final report on Wednesday, which recommended that the police form a technical team to follow up on its investigation.

The team also announced on Wednesday that a possible motive for the attack was retaliation in connection to five high-profile graft cases Novel had investigated and a separate police case.

It identified the five graft cases as the e-ID card case, the case involving former Constitutional Court head Akil Mochtar, the case involving former Supreme Court secretary-general Nurhadi, the case involving former Buol regent Amran Batalipu, and the Wisma Atlet case involving former Democratic Party treasurer Nazaruddin. The final case was a police shooting, in which Novel was alleged to have shot a robbery suspect while he was chief detective at the Bengkulu Police.

The team did not name any suspects in its investigation report, and instead suggested that the acid attack was motivated by Novel's "excessive use of power" in carrying out his duties as a KPK investigator.

Responding to this statement from the fact-finding team, KPK deputy chairman Laode M. Syarif said that the antigraft body did not comprehend the context of the team's use of the phrase, and stressed that the KPK's investigators always abided by the law.

"There has been no 'excessive use of power'," Laode said, calling on all members of the fact-finding team and the police to focus on finding the perpetrators instead of "creating other issues".

Anticorruption and legal activists supporting Novel have condemned the findings and have called on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to form an independent team to solve the case. (dmy/afr)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/07/18/kpk-novel-baswedan-let-down-by-fact-finding-team.html

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