Jokowi, Kalla Deemed ‘Negligent’ in Police vs. KPK Saga
Jakarta. Former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Jimly Ashiddiqie slammed Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Tuesday for remarks earlier this week suggesting that the National Police’s attempts to investigate and prosecute anti-graft officials were not unjustified abuses of their law enforcement powers.
The National Police launched a wave of investigations and criminal charges against several senior leaders and detectives of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) after the anti-graft body named a now-erstwhile nominee for police chief as a graft and money laundering suspect.
Kalla said on Monday that people misunderstand “criminalization” (“kriminalisasi” in Indonesian popular legal parlance), an analytically vague term used, at least according to the current prevailing interpretation, to mean the unjustified and unlawful use of police powers to investigate individuals and charge them with offenses of dubious validity.
The vice president said the police’s probes into several cold cases involving four leaders of the KPK, as well as their investigative subpoena of National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) last month, were not “criminalization.”
“Criminalization happens when an innocent person is reported to police,” Kalla said in his office in Jakarta. “However, if someone has data, facts and reports [them to police], and the latter is questioned, then it is called an investigation.”
“When there is an element of legal violation, there is a legal process,” he added, conclusorily.
Jimly said Kalla’s statement evinced “negligence” on the part of the president and vice president, referring to their inaction during the prolonged period of reprisals and counter-reprisals between the two law enforcement authorities.
The more recent moves against Komnas HAM, meanwhile, are believed to be retaliation for the public announcement of results from the investigation into the arrest of KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto in January — shortly after KPK named former National Police chief candidate Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan a suspect.
Komnas HAM found the police abused their authority in Bambang’s arrest.
The KPK deputy is accused of suborning witnesses to perjure themselves during his time as an attorney in a 2010 local election dispute. During his arrest, Bambang was reportedly handcuffed and guarded by heavily armed officers before being spirited away for questioning downtown.
Jimly said the president and vice president’s “negligence” has caused the police force to feel “euphoric” and encouraged continued persecution of KPK and Komnas HAM officials.
“You cannot let the police continue with their euphoria. This is unhealthy for democracy, especially now that [the police] are affecting the work of Komnas HAM,” said Jimly, who sits on independent team President Joko Widodo convened in January to advise him on de-escalating the spat between KPK and the police.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe