Court Rejects KPK’s Decision to Name Budi a Graft Suspect
[Updated at 10:45 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015]
Jakarta. The South Jakarta District Court on Monday granted a pretrial motion filed by National Police chief candidate Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan against his naming as a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, possibly clearing the way for President Joko Widodo to inaugurate him.
“The court has decided that (the KPK’s investigation letter) was invalid and therefore the decision to name [Budi] a suspect doesn’t have a law binding basis,” said judge Sarpin Rizaldi, who led the hearing, which was broadcast on television.
Budi was not present at the hearing.
Before the hearing, Budi’s lawyer Maqdir Ismail had received a text from Budi telling him not to give any “controversial comment,” news portal Tempo.co reported.
Maqdir was also quoted as saying that that Budi would abide by the court’s verdict and he had decided that he would not pursue any legal action against the court.
Jakarta Police deployed at least 500 officers to boost security at the South Jakarta District Court complex where hundreds of demonstrators, both supporters and opponents of the three-star general, gathered on Monday morning.
Critics have lamented the president’s stalling on making a decision since Budi was named a suspect by the KPK on Jan. 13. The president’s reluctance to drop the nomination — despite vocal public objection — has been attributed to his inability to defy orders of his political patron, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri. Budi has long been known to be a close associate of Megawati, serving as her adjutant during her presidency in early 2000s.
Over the past month, the case has snowballed into a major KPK versus National Police saga, worse than previous conflicts involving the two law enforcement institutions, which critics have largely attributed to Joko’s failure to make a decision over the matter.
In what has been widely perceived as the police’s retaliation against the KPK’s move, Budi had filed the pretrial motion against the antigraft body with the South Jakarta court, arguing that the KPK’s naming of him as a suspect was illegitimate, citing among other reasons that such a decision should be made by a complete set of five KPK leaders.
The KPK is run by four leaders only after one of the deputy chairmen, Busyro Muqoddas, entered his retirement age in December, while lawmakers last month decided against selecting Busyro’s replacement until the end of the four other KPK leaders’ terms at the end of the year.
The four of them, meanwhile, are currently facing different legal charges by police over old cases that only recently resurfaced, some of which are based on reports filed by PDI-P politicians.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe