The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) declared the arrest of its commissioner, Bambang Widjojanto, on Friday had been marred by a conflict of interest.
National Police general crime investigations director Brig. Gen. Herry Prastowo, who is handling Bambang’s case, was one of the police generals under the KPK’s investigation in Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan’s case.
“We strongly condemn the arrest. We hope that the National Police is not being used to serve the interests of any particular group of people,” KPK commissioner Adnan Pandu Praja said.
“According to Article 12 of [the National Police law], there is a potential conflict of interest here between he [Herry] and Pak Bambang,” Pandu added.
KPK chairman Abraham Samad, who said that Bambang had hinted the previous day that he might be facing a legal problem following a string of attacks that the antigraft body had been continuously facing since naming Budi a suspect, described the National Police’s move against his colleague as a tyrannical act.
“I call on all people across Indonesia to be united to support the fight against any act of tyranny. We cannot let this kind of behavior grow. Believe me, the truth will win,” said Samad.
A senior Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician on Thursday accused Samad of misusing his power to declare Budi a graft suspect in revenge for his failure to become the running mate of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in last year’s presidential election.
KPK deputy chairman Zulkarnain said the National Police knew that the attack would disturb the antigraft body’s work to complete all the high-profile cases, including Budi’s, that it had to resolve in the remaining 11 months of the current leaders’ tenure.
“The attack is right on target. We four, including Bambang, have 11 months to finish all the work, and now the attack will consequently result in the suspension of Bambang, which means that we will only have three people remaining until the end of our tenure,” Zulkarnain said.
Meanwhile, National Police spokesperson Ins. Gen. Ronny F. Sompie confirmed that the police had deployed 15 officers to arrest Bambang.
“He was arrested for allegedly ordering a witness to present false testimony in violation of Article 242 of the Criminal Code,” Ronny said, adding that Bambang could face a maximum seven-year prison sentence if found guilty.
Ronny insisted there was no relation between Bambang’s arrest and the status of Budi as a graft suspect.
“We have three pieces of evidence and that’s enough to name him a suspect,” said Ronny.
Separately, the head of Bambang’s legal team, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, said her client had not been questioned by investigators until 4 p.m. because he refused to speak without a lawyer.
“This questioning is forced. Legally, the police presented an arrest warrant. However, it was also stated in the warrant that the investigators could question the suspect until the case was solved, even though they should only legally be allowed to detain him for 24 hours,” she said.
In the meantime, Sugianto Sabran, a member of the PDI-P, acknowledged that he had filed a similar report in 2010 but denied that the party’s leader had ordered him to re-file the report on Jan. 19.
The former lawmaker explained that he filed a report against Bambang for allegedly asking witnesses to present false testimonies in a regional election dispute hearing at the Constitutional Court in 2010.
At that time, Sugianto had won against incumbent Ujang Iskandar to become West Kotawaringin regent in Central Kalimantan. However, the court overturned his victory in favor of Ujang, who was then represented by Bambang.
“I am purely searching for justice and I believe he’s guilty. If not, you can arrest me,” Sugianto said.
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