As the standoff between the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the graft-ridden National Police drags on, the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has provided new details concerning the antigraft agency chairman Abraham Samad’s alleged breach of ethics.
- standoff – a situation in which neither side has won a competition or argument, or an occasion when someone prevents officials from acting, usually by threatening violence
- breach – melanggar
After previously denying an earlier report suggesting Abraham had attempted to negotiate a deal with the PDI-P to allow him to become President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s running mate in last year’s presidential election, senior PDI-P politician and Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has admitted having had a meeting with Abraham.
Tjahjo said he was ready to give evidence to the National Police’s Criminal Investigations Directorate (Bareskrim) should he be summoned to confirm a police report filed by an NGO that alleged Abraham abused his power and violated the KPK’s code of ethics by holding secretive meetings with the party.
The police are currently working to collect evidence to charge Abraham after PDI-P acting secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto urged the KPK last week to set up an ethics committee to probe the claims that Abraham had held several meetings with PDI-P politicians to talk about the possibility of him being paired with Jokowi.
“The meeting, in which Hasto was also present, was facilitated by Pak Abraham’s friend named David, who is a physician. There were a total of five people at that meeting including Supriyansah along with Abraham and David,” Tjahjo said on Sunday, adding that the meeting, took place at the Capital Residence apartments in Central Jakarta.
Tjahjo insisted that his statement was not meant as an attack on the KPK but only as a response to an earlier revelation made by Supriyansah, the owner of the apartment, after he was questioned by Bareskrim on Friday and pointed to Tjahjo’s role.
“The meeting did not discuss anything. It was just an informal meeting, Neither Pak Abraham nor I wore masks [as claimed by Supriyansah],” Tjahjo explained.
Another PDI-P politician, Arteria Dahlan, also launched a salvo on Sunday by showing a photograph of Abraham with a retired Indonesian Military (TNI) officer, identified only as RNH, in a secretive meeting held at the house of former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief AM Hendropriyono, one of Jokowi’s campaign advisors, in Jakarta to discuss his vice-presidential bid.
Arteria said that the meeting was held a week before the party decided to select Jusuf Kalla as Jokowi’s running mate, adding that he had several photographs of Abraham holding secretive meetings.
The items will be submitted to the police as evidence to support the report against Abraham, according to Arteria. Abraham, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, would be required to resign if the police declared him a suspect in a criminal case.
Attacks on the KPK escalated after the agency declared President Jokowi’s National Police chief nominee Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan a suspect shortly before his confirmation by the House of Representatives.
Since then, several police reports have been filed against all four
KPK commissioners in regard to alleged past misconduct committed prior to assuming their jobs with the KPK.
As Budi’s nomination is widely supported by Jokowi’s political alliance and patrons, the President has nixed demands from civil society groups to side with the KPK in its row with the police, although Jokowi has postponed Budi’s inauguration.
PDI-P deputy secretary-general Ahmad Basarah said the PDI-P could not guarantee House approval of a new nominee for the police chief should Jokowi propose one later.
“We don’t want political factions at the House to humiliate the President by rejecting a proposed new candidate,” Basarah said. “The best the President can do now is to inaugurate Budi Gunawan”.
Meanwhile, KPK spokesman Priharsa Nugraha said the KPK would issue a second summons for Budi this week after he skipped a questioning session on Friday.
The KPK, he said, would not be distracted by a pretrial hearing at the South Jakarta District Court on Monday aimed at challenging the KPK’s decision to name Budi a graft suspect. The hearing will be presided over by Sarpin Rizaldi, a judge who has been reported seven times to the Judicial Commission for alleged misconduct.
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