Anti-Corruption Weekly Digest: Febuary 11-17, 2016

Corruption inside the Supreme Court

During their almost two-months tenure, it appears that the new commissioners of KPK, the Corruption Eradication Commission, had been working to demonstrate their commitment. After apprehending legislators who were implicated in corruption, this time KPK arrested suspects of corruption inside MA, the Supreme Court, in another sting operation.

KPK reportedly arrested six suspects in an act of bribery intended to postpone issuing copy of verdict in a supreme review on a corruption case for the State Court (PN) of Mataram. Among the implicated is the Chief of Civil Case Reviews at MA, Andri Tristianto Sutrisna (ATS), along with a businessman and a driver. During the operation, KPK also confiscated an amount of Rp 400m in cash and two cars.

According to reports, the case was started by a businessman, Ichsan Suaidi, who dreaded his verdict from MA. Ichsan was implicated in corruption of Labuhan Haji port construction in East Lombok. During supreme review, he was informed that Supreme Judge Artidjo Alkostar was going to hand him a five-year sentence and Rp 200m in fines. In a verdict read by judges on September 2015, he would also be compelled to recompensate Rp 4.46b, equal to another full year in prison. The tip prompted Ichsan to bribe an MA official, Andri, who forthrightly asked a fee of Rp 400m for his service to postpone issuing the copy of verdict for three months.

In legal terms, this scheme should not immediately suspend execution of sentence. In theory, after a quote of verdict is received by the state prosecutor, then the sentence could be immediately executed. In practice, however, state prosecutors often use unreceived copy of verdict as pretext for not executing sentences. In Bali, for instance, execution of sentence against the Regent of Jembrana was delayed for months only because state prosecutors had not received the copy of verdict.

In fact, bribery for delaying execution is not a new modus operandi in judicial corruption. In 2003, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) conducted a research about corruption in Indonesia's judicial system, which was later published in a book titled "Exposing the Judicial Mafia" The research identified patterns of judicial corruption during each process, including preliminary investigation (penyelidikan), primary investigation (penyidikan), prosecution, trial, and execution of verdict. Among others, the common M.O. were negotiation of verdict, inmate transfer, case obfuscation, arranging line-up of favorable judges, as well as postponing copy of verdict and execution.

In response of this emerging phenomenon, there are number of imperative actions that should be taken into consideration. First, KPK should no longer hesitate to expose all parties involved in a case investigation. Given the difficulty of investigating corruption inside MA, this could prove to be the only opportunity for exposure. So far, no other law enforcement agency could justify itself to be reliable. Neither the Police Force nor the Attorney General Office (AGO) seems to have the capacity to solve any case that implicates MA.

Second, this case could provide the momentum for MA to clean up. Initiated reforms within MA need to be evaluated, particularly on the overhaul of the verdict information management system. An integrated system that encompasses verdict management from State Courts, Provincial Courts up to the Supreme Court could minimize practices of commercializing verdicts. Furthermore, an audit of verdicts at MA is essential to answer the notion that this case might have also happened to other verdicts.

Third, this case underlines the significance of optimizing external oversight, a role of the Judicial Commission (KY), as an integral part of system at MA. Hitherto, the public see noticed that MA tends to be resistant when being fed with inputs from KY. MA should welcome external input for improvement in order to maintain its virtue as God's representation on earth.

The people long for a conclusive eradication of corruption inside the judicial system, and the state should not cower to confront anything that wants to thwart this ideal. The people will fully support the crusade to attain a justice system that can truly provide a place for seekers of justice.***

 

The Ruling Party and Behavior of Corruption

Corruption cannot be separated from power because only those with power corrupt. The poor cannot corrupt because they have no power and authority to be corrupted. For those in power, an anti-corruption commission like KPK, the Corruption Eradication Commission, is an obstruction to enjoy power – while corrupt law enforcement agencies are their buddies.

Ruling parties in Indonesia have made a habit of trying to impair KPK. Looking back, for a decade during the previous regime under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Democrat Party also attempted the same thing. Their entry point was also the revision of KPK Law.

Fortunately, during that decade there was a strong opposition that defies the attempts, including PDIP that constantly refuse to revise the KPK Law. Newcomers like Nasdem, the National Democrat Party, also opposed the revision in a similar narrative – the revision would weaken the future performance of KPK. Aside from the parties, there was a strong public pressure which proved to be the primary force behind the undoing of these attempts.

Now there is a different story. As the opposition in the past, now PDIP and Nasdem have become the ruling parties. In power, these parties, that used to stand against the revision of KPK Law, now become the strongest advocate to revise the Law. Many justifications were put forward, almost identical to the justifications of the advocates of the previous regime.

Formerly the strongest advocate to the revision, Democrat is now its strongest critic. Aligning themselves with Gerindra Party to defy all attempts to weaken KPK with the new revision proposal.

These are the unmasked faces of our political parties, switching allegiances like day and night, without any ideological foothold or a genuine devotion to free the country from corruption. Politicians only use the anti-corruption issue as a political cosmetic.

Observing the phenomenon of the ruling party at the moment, the public need to respond with a stronger sanction and pressure. Sanction can be served by not electing parties that advocate for the revision of KPK Law in local and national election, and pressure can be manifested in petitions and demonstrative condemnation and demands directed towards party leaders in order to immediately retract their attempt to revise KPK Law.***

 

WEEKLY SUMMARY

 

STATUS UPDATES

11 February

  • The Police detectives unit (Bareskrim) arrested two out of three suspects in the alleged corruption of condensate sales that involved Special Working Unit for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas) and PT TPPI.

  • Special crimes investigator team at the South and West Sulawesi Provincial Attorney questioned Regent of Takalar, Burhanuddin Baharuddin, in a corruption of the 2008 social assistance fund (bansos) at South Sulawesi Provincial Administration.

12 February

  • KPK filed an appeal to MA on the verdict handed by the Provincial Court of Jakarta against Regent of Bangkalan in East Java, Fuad Amin. The regent's confiscated assets should have become state's property, but were ordered to be returned by the court.

  • KPK arrested the Chief of Civil Case Reviews and Case Administration at MA for allegedly receiving bribery from a businessman to postpone issuing copy of verdict in a corruption case supreme review.

15 February

  • An alleged corruption implicating suspect Kaspul Anwar was dismissed after the suspect passed away.

  • AGO slapped a travel ban on Director of PT Djaya Nusantara Komunikasi, Hary Djaja, who were suspected of conducting fictitious transaction.

  • KPK questioned former member of Commission V at the House of Representatives (DPR) from the PAN faction, Andi Taufan Tiro, in a bribery case for an infrastructure project in Ambon that implicates member of Commission VI Damayanti Wisnu Putranti and Director of PT Windu Tunggal Utama, Abdul Khoir.

  • A legislator from the PKS faction, Akmal Pasluddin, was questioned by investigators as witness in corruption of the 2008 social aid funds at South Sulawesi Provincial Administration.

16 February

  • The trial against KPK senior investigator, Novel Baswedan, was canceled after the State Attorney (Kejari) of Bengkulu failed to return dossiers. Kejari retrieved the dossiers from court to improve their charges.

  • KPK arrested the General Director on Sea Transportation at the Ministry of Transportation, Bobby Reynold Mamahit, and his predecessor, Djoko Pramono, for allegedly receiving money for the 2011 third stage construction project of BP2IP, the Seafarers Education and Training Center, in Sorong.

  • KPK questioned Mayor of Semarang, Hendrar Prihadi, in the corruption case involving PDIP politician, Damayanti Wisnu Putranti.

  • Jakarta Provincial Attorney detained two out of four suspects in the alleged corruption of a 2013 credit facility provision by Bank DKI for PT Likotama Harum and PT Mangkubuana Hutama Jaya, in which the state lost an estimated Rp 267m.

  • Former Regent of Bengkalis, Herliyan Saleh, was again questioned by Riau Police special crimes investigators as a suspect in corruption of a 2012 social aid fund in his regency.

17 February

  • Non-active Governor of North Sumatera, Gatot Pujo Nugroho, was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison, while his wife, Evi Susanti, was sent to 4 years for bribing judges and clerks at Medan Administrative Court. Both were also required to pay Rp 200m of fines, equivalent to a further 5 months in prison.

  • M Yagari Bhastara Guntur, aka Gerry, a staff of lawyer OC Kaligis, was sent to two years in prison and fined Rp 150m, equal to another 6 months in prison, after proven beyond doubt to participate in corruption.

  • Former Mayor of Makassar, Ilham Arif Sirajuddin, was charged with 8 years of prison and Rp 300m of fines (equal to 3 months of prison) as well as a recompensation amounting up to Rp 5.5b (equal to another 3 years in prison).

  • Economic Crimes Directorate of the Police questioned the CEO of Pertamina, Karen Agustiawan, as witness for suspect Nina Nurlina in the alleged corruption of the "100 Million Tree Saving" program in Pertamina Foundation.

 

Counter:
3

foto: thediplomat.com

The staggeringly long list of candidates voters were choosing between hangs outside a polling station in North Sumatra. Photo from Wikimedia Commons/ Davidelit.

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foto: law-justice.co
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Foto: The Jakarta Post

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Foto: Medcom.id

The zero tolerance echoed by the Government can only be said as lip service.