Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – A judge at the South Jakarta District Court on Wednesday rejected a motion by disgraced Papua Governor Lukas Enembe who challenged his arrest and naming of a corruption suspect, meaning that his trial can begin anytime soon.
Judge Hendra Utama said the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, has acted according to the Criminal Procedure Code in handling the case with reasonable preliminary evidence to name Lukas a suspect and put him in detention.
The judge also dismissed arguments by the defense team who insisted that Lukas is medically unfit for trial.
According to the judge, the medical reason has nothing to do with the subject of the KPK investigation.
Lukas is accused of accepting at least Rp1 billion from a businessman who was awarded infrastructure projects by the Papua government.
But he is also at the center of controversies regarding alleged misappropriations of the central government's funding worth hundreds of billions of rupiah and his lavish lifestyle after the anti-money laundering agency revealed that he has transferred a large sum of money to an overseas casino.
From Lukas and his family, the KPK has seized more than Rp 50 billion ($3.4 million) in cash, four cars, gold ingots, and jewelry.
The KPK welcomed the judge's ruling and vowed to speed up preparations for Lukas' trial.
"We will conclude the investigation soon and I think we can transfer the case to prosecutors on the 12th for trial," KPK spokesman Ali Fikri told reporters at his office in Jakarta.
In addition to corruption charges, Lukas is also slapped with the anti-money laundering articles, he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, the defense team urged the court to order the release of their client for medical reasons and slammed the KPK for potentially violating human rights by putting him in detention regardless of his "life-threatening illnesses".
"Mr. Lukas Enembe is suffering from permanent and chronic illnesses that threaten his life," the defense said in a statement.
The attorneys said that according to independent medical examinations, Lukas has been diagnosed with stage 5 chronic kidney disease that requires him to be treated in a hospital bed rather than be put in a cell.
Medical records from Royal Healthcare Singapore indicate that Lukas suffers from a severe liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus which is very contagious and poses serious health risks to other people at the KPK detention facility, the statement reads.
The defense team urged the court to halt the investigation or release Lukas from detention until he recovers and is medically fit for the legal proceedings.