KPK to grill Gen. Budi on ‘spooky Friday’

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said on Thursday that it would question National Police chief candidate Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan for the first time as a graft suspect on Friday, three weeks after declaring him a suspect on Jan. 13.

There are rumors that Budi will be detained soon after questioning, as the anti graft body has a history of deciding to lock up graft suspects soon after their first questioning on Fridays, prompting many to assign the moniker “spooky Friday”.

“I just received information from the KPK investigators that BG will be questioned on Friday,” KPK spokesman Priharsa Nugraha said on Thursday evening, referring to Budi by his initials.

Priharsa, however, refused to confirm whether Budi would be detained on Friday, saying that it was the investigators’ prerogative to decide whether to detain a suspect after his or her questioning.

A number of well-known graft suspects who were detained on spooky Friday include former Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum, suspended Banten governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah and former senior deputy governor of Bank Indonesia Miranda S. Goeltom.

The KPK has named Budi a suspect for financial misdeeds in his capacity as head of the Career Development Bureau at the National Police headquarters from 2004 to 2006, where he amassed a total of Rp 95 billion (US$7.53 million) that he allegedly collected from bribes and gratuities, including bribes paid by officers in pursuit of higher positions in the force.

Priharsa expressed his hope that Budi would meet the KPK summons to help investigators complete his dossier soon.

Some fear that Budi would skip his Friday questioning as the antigraft body had attempted to summon a number of active police generals and middle-ranking officers, who allegedly paid bribes to Budi for their promotions, as witnesses in the case since last Monday. None have turned up for questioning.

Separately, the South Jakarta District Court confirmed that the first session of a pretrial hearing filed by Budi over the KPK’s decision to name him a graft suspect would be held next Monday

“The trial is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.,” South Jakarta District Court spokesperson Made Sutisna said.

Separately, one of Budi’s lawyers, Razman Arif Nasution, said the petition was filed with the help of the National Police’s legal division, because the KPK had named Budi a suspect without questioning him first. Razman argued that this was extremely unorthodox and should be investigated.

“The KPK’s move must be examined by our judicial system,” Razman said.

Apart from Budi’s pretrial hearing against the KPK, Made said, a pretrial hearing against the National Police was also scheduled next Monday. The pretrial petition had been filed by the Law Enforcement Monitoring Institute (LP3HI) in relation to the arrest of KPK commissioner Bambang Widjojanto as a suspect last Friday.

The National Police’s detective division named Bambang a suspect for allegedly ordering a witness to commit perjury at the Constitutional Court in 2010 in a case related to a regional election dispute in West Kotawaringin, Central Kalimantan.

  • perjury – the crime of telling a lie in court after promising formally to tell the truth

Many suspect that Bambang’s arrest is in direct response to the naming of Budi as a graft suspect. Bambang has tendered his resignation, as ruled by law. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should give his decision on Bambang’s resignation soon.

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