Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – A police general faces multiple charges after being named a suspect for allegedly assisting graft convict and fugitive Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra and issuing letters that allowed him to travel within the country.
Brig. Gen. Prasetyo Utomo, the former head of the Civil Servant Investigator Supervisory and Coordination Bureau at the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim), had been accused of helping a criminal on the run and neglecting his duty as a law enforcer, Bareskrim chief Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo said.
The police have charged Prasetyo under Article 263 in conjunction with Article 55 of the Criminal Code on document forgery for creating and issuing forged travel letters for the convict, who recently returned to Indonesia after being at large for more than a decade.
Authorities had found and confiscated as evidence two travel letters, a COVID-19-free medical certificate and a health recommendation letter issued for Djoko, Listyo said.
Prasetyo – in his former capacity at Bareskrim – had allegedly ordered his subordinates to issue the letters, which were subsequently used by Djoko and his lawyer Anita Kolopaking to travel within the country, he added.
The one-rank police general was removed from his position after an investigation by the police's Internal Affairs Division (Propam) found that he had issued the travel letter for the graft suspect on his own initiative.
Listyo went on to say that Prasetyo had also been charged under Article 221 of the Criminal Code for allegedly obstructing the investigation and tampering with evidence.
"As a police officer, the suspect ordered Comr. Joni Andriyanto to burn the letters that had been used by Djoko and Anita for their travel," Listyo said as quoted by kompas.com.
Prasetyo also faced a charge under Article 426 of the Criminal Code for allegedly assisting a criminal.
With the multiple charges against him, the police general could be sentenced to six years of imprisonment.
"We have questioned approximately 20 people as witnesses [in the case] to date," Listyo said.
The police investigators had been tracking down more people possible involved in the matter, he said, adding that more suspects might be named soon.
The fiasco surrounding Djoko's sudden return to Indonesia has also implicated two other high-ranking police generals, who were removed last week, namely the international relations division head, Insp. Gen. Napoleon Bonaparte, and the secretary of the National Central Bureau (NCB) Interpol Indonesia, Brig. Gen. Nugroho Wibowo, for their alleged role in helping Djoko travel within the country.
Djoko was convicted in 2009 for his role in the 1998 Bank Bali corruption case. The Supreme Court sentenced him to two years in prison and ordered him to pay Rp 546 billion (US$54 million), but he fled the country a day before his conviction and remained at large for years.
The fugitive reportedly returned to Indonesia undetected and filed a case review plea with the South Jakarta District court to challenge his guilty verdict, though he had always been absent from his case hearings. His whereabouts today remain unclear, though reports suggest he might have taken up residence in Kuala Lumpur.