President Jokowi receives MK's recommendation letter for judge dismissal

President Jokowi receives MK's recommendation letter for judge dismissal

Arief Hidayat. (ANTARA/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

I am advised that the MK should be careful, as the public trust on it has been high, but this case has tarnished it all. We have built a good image, but again, there is (another) case."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo received a recommendation letter for the temporary dismissal of Constitutional Courts (MKs) Justice Patrialis Akbar at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

The recommendation letter was handed over by MK Chairman Arief Hidayat.

"I handed over the letter and explained the temporary suspension of Patrialis Akbar as the MK judge based on the results of the investigation of MKs Ethics Council (MKMK)," Hidayat stated.

On Monday (Feb 6), MKMK Chairman Sukma Violetta found that Akbar had committed gross violations of the code of ethics and the guidelines of constitutional judges.

Akbar has been named a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in an alleged bribery case linked to a judicial review of Law No. 41 of 2014 on Animal Breeding and Animal Health.

"With the MKMKs decision, the MK chairman should write immediately to the president to seek a temporary suspension. I have conveyed the letter and the process of (the investigation) to the president," Hidayat noted.

Hidayat was accompanied by MK Secretary M. Guntur Hamzah during the meeting with the head of state at the Presidential Palace. According to Hidayat, the president vowed to issue a letter to temporarily suspend Akbar.

"Based on the presidents letter, the ethics council will conduct a follow-up investigation. The MKMK will then recommend whether Akbar will be discharged honorably or dishonorably," Hidayat pointed out.

Hidayat remarked that the president also realized the need to immediately propose a candidate to replace Akbar as the constitutional court judge.

"The president is aware that in March the MK will handle the regional head elections (Pilkada) cases. If Akbar is not replaced soon, there will only be eight judges, and it will be a burden for the MK (to have only eight judges in handling Pilkada cases)," Hidayat stated.

He noted that MK had discussed the replacement of Akbar if he is eventually discharged, honorably or dishonorably.

Hidayat said the president had requested the MK to be careful in carrying out its tasks.

"I am advised that the MK should be careful, as the public trust on it has been high, but this case has tarnished it all. We have built a good image, but again, there is (another) case," he stated.

The MK had earlier witnessed the arrest of its chairman by the KPK in a bribery case.

The president has yet to assign a selection committee to choose a substitute for Akbar as the MK justice.

Akbar had allegedly received a bribe or gift in foreign currencies worth US$20 thousand and S$200 thousand (about Rp2.1 billion) from President Director of PT Sumber Laut Perkasa and PT Impexindo Pratama Basuki Hariman.

He was caught-red handed by the KPK along with a lady at the Grandi Indonesia on January 25, 2017.

In the case involving Akbar, the KPK had earlier arrested bribe middleman Kamaluddin and Basuki Hariman from separate locations.
(Uu.A014/INE/KR-BSR/O001)

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