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TNI commander orders investigation of soldier who demanded release of criminal suspect

Jakarta Globe - August 8, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) Commander Admiral Yudo Margono has issued an order for the Military Police to initiate an investigation into a soldier who recently visited a police station in Medan, seeking the release of his relative who was being detained on charges of document forgery.

The Medan Metropolitan Police had earlier reported that Major Dedi Hasibuan, an officer from the Bukit Barisan Military Command in North Sumatra, had visited their office along with fellow soldiers, some of whom were in military uniform, to demand the release of his relative. However, Yudo clarified on Monday that the incident was of a personal nature and emphasized that these soldiers did not represent any military institution.

"They acted as individuals and did not represent any institution or the [Bukit Barisan Military Command] commander. I have instructed the local commander to conduct an interrogation, with the support of the Military Police," Yudo said.

While an internal investigation is currently underway to ascertain the details, Yudo acknowledged that Major Dedi's attempt to intervene in an ongoing criminal investigation at a police station was "unethical." He assured that if Major Dedi and his colleagues are found guilty of violating their oath as soldiers, strict sanctions will be imposed.

"We will take prompt and decisive actions, without any form of impunity or cover-up. As I have previously stated, [the TNI] will impose stringent measures against soldiers who engage in violations," Yudo said.

Dedi visited the Medan Metropolitan Police headquarters on Saturday to gather information about a legal case involving a suspect facing allegations of land document forgery, as well as being investigated for a vehicle theft case. The suspect was subsequently released after Dedi's visit, although the police did not elaborate on the specific family connection between the two individuals.

While the Military Police have the authority to take over cases involving service members from the police, soldiers do not possess the legal authority to intervene in criminal cases concerning civilian suspects.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/tni-commander-orders-investigation-of-soldier-who-demanded-release-of-criminal-suspec