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KPK left cases reported by Jokowi unsolved, minister claims

Jakarta Post - November 12, 2019

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reported cases to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that were left hanging, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD has claimed.

"The President has shown, delivered reports to the KPK on [...] cases that have never been solved," Mahfud said as quoted by kompas.com.

Mahfud said the reports included some big cases, which he himself had discussed with the President. He, however, stopped short of mentioning the reason why the cases remained unsolved.

Given the circumstances, Mahfud said that in line with the agenda on strengthening the antigraft body, the President wanted the National Police and the Attorney General's Office to also be strengthened to help the KPK.

KPK deputy chairman Laode Muhammad Syarif said he did not know which cases Mahfud was referring to but noted two had become a concern of the President and other parties.

The first was a graft case related to the procurement of the British-made Augusta Westland 101 helicopter. Several high-ranking Air Force officers and a businessman were named suspects in the case, though none have been indicted.

Laode said the case required strong collaboration between the KPK and the Military Police, given the latter's authority to investigate cases implicating Indonesian Military (TNI) officers.

The KPK is waiting for the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) to finish determining the amount of state losses incurred as a result of the alleged corruption.

"We are hoping for [Jokowi and Mahfud's] full support for this case in particular, because the case will not be that complicated if there is a willingness from the TNI and BPK [to help]," Laode said.

The second case, also on corruption, implicates the now-defunct Pertamina Energy Trading Ltd. (Petral). The investigation started following the government's decision in 2015 to dissolve the company, which was a subsidiary of state-owned oil and gas operator Pertamina.

It took around four years since the probe started for the KPK to name in September former Petral president director Bambang Irianto a suspect for allegedly accepting at least US$2.9 million in bribes.

The investigation into Petral needed close cooperation with some foreign countries and territories, including the British Virgin Islands, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. However, he said, not all were cooperative in this case.

"Another difficulty we face is that the case involves a number of shell companies in some safe haven countries, such as the British Virgin Islands," he said.

Laode asserted that each case had its own complexities and the most important thing for the KPK was to gather enough evidence to solve them. "[The KPK's] ability to obtain evidence is closely linked to our authority, as referred to in the law, as well as the willingness of those summoned by the KPK to cooperate," he added.

The House of Representatives passed the new KPK Law in September despite criticism from activists and academics that the revised version contained articles that would weaken the antigraft body.

The move ignited a wave of online and offline protests across the country, mainly staged by university students who called on Jokowi to issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to cancel the revised law. (gis)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/11/12/kpk-left-cases-reported-by-jokowi-unsolved-minister-claims.html