The deputy of the Corruption Eradication Commission’s (KPK) prevention unit, Johan Budi, slammed graft suspect Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan for ignoring the agency’s summons for questioning on Friday.
The National Police chief candidate’s excuse was that he had to wait for the results of a pretrial hearing scheduled for Monday, but Johan said this was not a legitimate excuse for being absent from questioning.
“Such an excuse is unacceptable,” said Johan, who is a former KPK spokesman and still often speaks on behalf of the KPK leadership concerning major cases.
“The investigators will summon him for questioning next week. We will send another summons letter as soon as possible,” said Johan.
Former Supreme Court chief justice Harifin Tumpa concurred. He said the Criminal Code (KUHP) made it very clear that the decision to name a suspect could not be contested in court.
Citing Article 77 of the code, Harifin concluded, “The article clearly shows that the naming of a suspect cannot be challenged in court.”
The Judicial Commission has also reminded the Supreme Court about Article 77.
Other legal experts agree that there is no law that a suspect can wait for the results of a pretrial hearing before attending a questioning about their case.
“There is no provision that says a pretrial must go first before the case trial. Therefore, arguing to wait for the pretrial to issue a ruling is not necessary,” said University of Indonesia criminal law expert Akhiar Salmi.
Miko Ginting of the Center for Indonesian Law and Policy Studies (PSHK) agreed and urged the Supreme Court and the Judicial Commission to monitor the pretrial hearing closely.
Meanwhile, State Secretary Pratikno said on Friday that Budi should comply with the KPK summons.
“Well, if we refer to the legal proceedings, [Budi] is supposed to appear [at the KPK’s questioning session],” Pratikno said.
“But it is not within the authority of the President [Joko Widodo] to [order him to comply].”
Budi refused on Friday to comply with the KPK’s summons to be questioned for the first time since he was declared a graft suspect on Jan. 13.
One of Budi’s lawyers, Razman Arif Nasution, told reporters that Budi insisted on waiting for the results of the pretrial hearing against the KPK before meeting with them. The first pretrial hearing over the KPK’s move to name Budi a graft suspect will start on Monday at the South Jakarta District Court.
“BG said that he would decide what to do after the pretrial was over, but right now he refuses to attend the questioning until the court makes it clear whether the KPK naming him a suspect is legitimate in the eyes of the law,” he said, referring to Budi by his initials.
The KPK had named Budi a suspect for financial misdeeds after finding that in his capacity as the head of the Career Development Bureau at the National Police from 2004 to 2006 he amassed a total of Rp 95 billion (US$7 million) that he allegedly collected as bribes and gratuities, including bribes paid by officers in pursuit of higher positions in the force.
“Moreover, the KPK never sent an official letter to BG to tell him that he was a suspect and he had to find out about his legal status from the media,” Razman said.
Budi might have absented himself from the KPK interrogation because of the antigraft body’s history of deciding to lock up graft suspects after their first questioning on Fridays, prompting many to assign the day with the moniker, “spooky Friday”.
Meanwhile, Judge Sarpin Rizaldi will preside over Budi’s hearing. South Jakarta Court spokesman Made Sutrisna said the court’s chief had appointed Sarpin to handle the sensitive lawsuit.
“The court chief asked Sarpin to preside over the hearing,” said Made.
The Judicial Commission and Indonesia Corruption Watch have reportedly listed Sarpin as a problematic judge.
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