President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to postpone the inauguration of graft suspect Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan as the next chief of the National Police on Friday was not made without compromise as he accommodated several of Budi’s confidants to lead strategic positions within the National Police.
The President dismissed National Police chief Gen. Sutarman, and assigned his deputy, widely known as Budi’s close associate, as acting National Police chief.
Like Budi, Badrodin was among a number of generals to have held bank accounts considered suspicious by money laundering watchdog, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK), in 2010.
The PPATK has recorded that he received monthly transfers from suspicious parties worth more than Rp 50 million (US$4,000) while serving as police chief in several regions between 2004 and 2005.
Badrodin, who is set to retire in July next year, has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Minutes after the announcement, the National Police said that it had replaced its detective division chief Comr. Gen. Suhardi Alius with Insp. Gen. Budi Waseso — Budi’s staffer who heads education and training for the high-ranking officer division.
Budi Waseso gained recognition for his arrest of National Police detective chief Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in 2010 after the latter was declared a graft suspect by the police.
“As of this (Friday) morning, Suhardi is the secretary of the National Resilience Institute [Lemhanas]. Budi Waseso takes his place,” said National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Ronny F. Sompie.
Suhardi is a reputable officer who has been spearheading reform in the detective division, particularly in cutting the long-running tradition where officers in the division give money to their superiors.
Jokowi did not disclose the reasons behind the dismissal of Sutarman and Suhardi. However, speculation is rife that both helped fetch information and evidence to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in relation to Budi’s alleged graft as a sign of opposition toward Jokowi’s move to nominate Budi.
Jokowi’s patron, Megawati Soekarnoputri, the chairwoman of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), has joined forces with NasDem Party chairman Surya Paloh and Kalla in demanding Budi be installed as police chief.
Budi served as an adjutant to Megawati during her time as vice president in 1999 and 2001 and as president between 2001 and 2004