Jakarta. A majority of Indonesians believe that there are hidden motives behind the National Police’s abrupt investigations into leaders of the national antigraft commission, a recent survey has found.
The Joint Data Center, or PDB, a research division of BeritaSatu Media, with which the Jakarta Globe is affiliated, said that 58 percent of the 500 people polled suspected an ulterior motive in the probes, while only 15 percent believed the investigations were purely legally motivated.
The survey was conducted by phone with respondents in Jakarta; Semarang, Central Java; Surabaya, East Java; Medan, North Sumatra; and Makassar, South Sulawesi, between Jan. 28 and Feb. 1, with a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
PDB senior researcher Didik J. Rachbini said 67 percent of respondents believed there was an attempt to weaken the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, while 12 percent disagreed.
“However, the public’s expectations of President Joko Widodo doing the right thing are high,” Didik said. “As much as 69 percent said they believed Jokowi could resolve the conflict between the KPK and the National Police.”
All four KPK commissioners — chairman Abraham Samad and deputy chairmen Bambang Widjojanto, Adnan Pandu Praja and Zulkarnain — stand to be named criminal suspects by the police in a range of cold cases — some dredged up from a decade ago — that critics say constitute a blatant retaliation by the police against the KPK’s naming of Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan, Joko’s nominee for police chief, a suspect for bribery and money laundering.
So far, only Bambang has been declared a suspect by the police, for allegedly compelling witnesses to commit perjury in an election dispute heard by the Constitutional Court in 2010.
Abraham is now under investigation in two separate cases: violating the KPK’s code of ethics — in itself not a criminal matter — by meeting members of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), reportedly to discuss chances of him becoming vice president; and doctoring his family card, a state-issued document.
Legal experts are unanimous on the need for an ad-hoc ethics tribunal of the KPK, and not the police, to hear the first case; while the second, even if proven, can be considered a misdemeanor at best.
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