Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan said that the results of the police-formed fact-finding team investigation into the acid attack that severely injured his left eye seemed to focus more on "mocking" him rather than finding his attacker.
"I wanted to give appreciation to the team because I hoped that they would find the perpetrators," Novel said in an interview with television journalist Najwa Shihab on digital content platform Narasi TV. "But what I saw was [the fact-finding team] giving its own opinions and seemingly mocking me. [They] made it seem as if the attack was my own fault."
The attack occurred on April 11, 2017, when two unidentified men threw acid at Novel's face as the investigator was on his way home from morning prayers at a mosque near his house in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.
The fact-finding team, which was formed by National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian in January, following a recommendation issued National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), said in it's report that the attack was related to several high-profile cases that Novel was investigating at the KPK.
"[The team] found that there is a probability that the cases handled by the victim have the potential to create retaliation because of the allegations of excessive use of power," former National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) head Nur Kholis, one of the experts on the team, said in a press conference last week.
Setara Institute chairman Hendardi, another expert on the team, echoed Nur Kholis statement.
"Based on our interviews with several witnesses, Novel and other KPK officials often use excessive force [in their investigation]," he said. "Which is why we concluded that this could cause someone to feel resentment which could trigger them to do some something to take revenge."
Novel, for his part, said that while he was disappointed with the report, he was not too surprised as he never placed much hope in the fact-finding team in the first place.
"One of the findings of the Komnas HAM report [that triggered the formation of the team] was that there was an abuse of process in the initial investigation," he said. "But the initial investigators were involved in the fact-finding team as well. Is the team able to investigate itself? I think that's illogical."
After six months of work, the fact-finding team failed to identify any suspects for the attack and recommended that the police form a technical team to continue the investigation. (kmt)