Jakarta – The National Police's Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) has questioned Antasari Azhar, former chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission, regarding the escape of notorious graft convict Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra.
Antasari, who chaired the antigraft commission between 2007 and 2009, said that the police questioned him regarding the high-profile 1998 Bank Bali graft case, which he handled during his time at the Attorney General's Office (AGO).
"[Bareskrim asked] about 10 questions. They wanted to know the details of the case because I was the investigator and in 1999, I was also appointed to prosecute him in court," he said as quoted by kompas.com on Thursday, adding that he stopped handling the case in 2001.
The Supreme Court sentenced Djoko to two years' imprisonment in 2019 for his involvement in the Bank Bali case. However, Djoko fled the country days before his conviction. Authorities later discovered that he had returned undetected to file a case review for his sentence in early June.
National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Argo Yuwono confirmed the questioning. "We ask for information related to the investigation of [Djoko's] suspected legal problems, particularly about the background of [his] legal issues," Argo said Thursday.
Bareskrim is currently investigating two cases related to Djoko. The first is regarding his escape, in which the police named the Bareskrim Civil Servant Investigator Supervisory and Coordination Bureau head, Brig. Gen. Prasetyo Utomo, and Djoko's lawyer, Anita Kolopaking, suspects for allegedly assisting the convict and issuing documents that allowed him to travel abroad.
The police eventually arrested Djoko in Malaysia on July 30 and sent him back home.
Prasetyo and Insp. Gen. Napoleon Bonaparte, the National Police's international relations division head, were also named suspects for allegedly accepting bribes to remove Djoko's red notice status, allowing the graft convict to freely enter the country despite having been on the most-wanted list since 2009. (mfp)