Editorial: KPK’s Next Chapter Could Be Its Last
It’s official: The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, has failed in bringing charges against Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan for graft and money laundering. On Wednesday, the antigraft authority conceded defeat, announcing that it would not appeal a South Jakarta District Court judge’s controversial decision to throw out the KPK’s indictment of the three-star graft suspect on technical grounds.
The Attorney General’s Office, which is handling the case now, added another blow, saying that the KPK’s case file contains a paucity of evidence against Budi, who it now seems will walk free.
This marks the first KPK’s first ever failure to obtain a conviction against a suspect it has charged. The prospects for the KPK’s future look bleak. The police are still investigating the KPK’s leaders in an effort to press criminal charges of dubious validity.
As of today, Bambang Widjojanto and Abraham Samad have been named suspects. Without any support from their only boss, President Joko Widodo, it’s almost certain that the KPK can’t touch any police officer.
Worse yet, the KPK probably can’t go after anyone crooked in the justice system, such as judges and prosecutors, since the threat of a police investigation — and the mandatory suspension that automatically entails for KPK officials — is enough to deter any KPK official from taking on the cops and the crooked networks that support them.
There is some hope that the KPK can be restored to its former self once Joko’s temporary, directly appointed commissioners are replaced in October by new leaders. A supposedly independent team picked by the president will select 10 candidates from the public, who will then hand the names to the House of Representatives to pick five new KPK leaders. It’s incumbent on all of us to keep an eye on that process and ensure the best people are chosen — or else we lose the war on corruption forever.
Source: The Jakarta Globe