Parliament approves controversial inquiry rights on KPK

Parliament approves controversial inquiry rights on KPK

KPK (ANTARA FOTO/Sigid Kurniawan)

Based on the dossier read by the KPK prosecutor in a court session earlier, more than 50 lawmakers, high ranking government officials and businessmen were implicated in the scandal.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A plenary session of the House of Representatives (DPR) on Friday approved a controversial move by a number of lawmakers to exercise inquiry right on the performance of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

The motion came after the anti graft agency rejected request earlier of the Law Commission of the DPR to hand over a recorded copy of the dossiers of lawmaker Miryam S. Haryani who is implicated in a Rp5.9 trillion scandal over the procurement of electronic identity (e-ID) cards.

Based on the dossier read by the KPK prosecutor in a court session earlier, more than 50 lawmakers, high ranking government officials and businessmen were implicated in the scandal.

A number of senior officials of the Home Affairs Ministry and business leaders involved in the scandal are now facing trial.

The majority factions of the House did not approve but neither did they oppose the motion, saying the individual lawmakers were free to take position.

The motion has drawn strong reaction from observers and experts. The Gerindra faction said the House should not rush to make such decision, but the protest was ignored by the House leaders.

The KPK has strongly regretted the motion calling it a political maneuver by some of the lawmakers to obstruct the investigation . KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said that submitting the classified document to the House would hamper KPK investigators work in going deeper into the root of the scandal.

"We hope the DPR will not drag the legal case into politics," Febri told reporters. He said KPK would not bow to any pressure or any intervention.

KPK has named Miryam, a perjury suspect. During an e-ID trial hearing at the Jakarta Corruption Court, Miryam, under oath, retracted statements she made during the interrogation in question.

Leading KPK investigator Novel Baswedan testified later that Miryam had confessed during an interrogation that at least five House lawmakers had intimidated her seeking to keep her mum about the distribution of kickbacks to lawmakers.

Novel said the five are the Golkar Partys Aziz Syamsuddin, the Gerindra Partys Desmond J. Mahesa, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggles (PDI-P) Masinton Pasaribu and the Hanura Partys Sarifuddin Sudding.

Director of Gadjah Mada Universitys (UGM) Corruption Studies Center (PUKAT) Zainal Arifin Mochtar said an inquiry right was a political tool by the House.

"The right could not be used to investigate law enforcement bodies. Investigation documents can only be open in court. It is not a public record," Zainal said.

Anti corruption champion and former member of the Committee selecting candidate for KPK leaders Yenti Garnasih, said the inquiry right could lead to intervention in the the process of legal investigation of the e-ID car case.

"What is that for. It is wrong to use it on legal case being investigated by KPK. It would be an intervention," Yenti said.

She said it was impossible for KPK to show the result of its investigation for anybody to see, adding "It is very much unacceptable to use inquiry right to force KPK to release the result of its legal investigation about criminal case."

The House should respect the position of KPK and "should not be too fast to exercise its right. The House has yet a lot to do much more important jobs than exercising inquiry right, she said. (*)

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