"For the time being cooperation is stopped with Australia on order from the president," police`s chief spokesman Insp. Gen. Ronny F Sompie said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian police have suspended cooperation with Australia police over spying row.

The Indonesian government has been angered by alleged interception of phone calls of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and a number of other leaders of the country.

"For the time being cooperation is stopped with Australia on order from the president," polices chief spokesman Insp. Gen. Ronny F Sompie said here on Saturday.

Ronny said cooperation between Indonesian and Australia police included training to improve the skills of Indonesian police, procurement of anti terror squad of Densus 88 and in tracking cyber crime.

He said police equipment provided by Australia would be examined to ensure that the equipment has no tapping devices secretly fixed.

"The equipment would be examined. We would continue to use the equipment if it has no tapping devices," he said, adding a team has been formed to examine the equipment.

The equipment is computerized, therefore, experts would be needed in the process of examination, he said.

He said police already moved and examination would be made thoroughly.

"We will bring in experts from the Bandung Institute of Technology. If necessary from the ministry of communications and informatics," he said.

He said in addition to procurement of equipment, cooperation has been suspended in handling of people smuggling or boat people with Australia.

"Cooperation in handling people smuggling, which is an international issue, would continue with other countries as it is a transnational crime," he said.

He said he could not say when the cooperation with Australia would be suspended.

Earlier, Brig. Gen. Arief Sulistyanto, the director of economic criminal acts said among the sets of equipment are "cyber crime investigation satellite office" (CCISO) and "cyber crime investigation center" (CCIC) installed at the Police Criminal Detective Body and four regional police offices including Jakarta Metropolitan, Bali, Medan and West Nusa Tenggara Police Offices.

Arief said Australian aid in technology information equipment is not for spying camouflage such as allegedly used on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other Indonesian leaders.

"Thanks God, it is not as it has nothing to do with hand phones, etc. This is laboratory and forensic equipment," he said.

The spying row has triggered diplomatic tension between the two neighboring countries especially as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has issued dismissive statement and refused to apologize.

The government already recalled its ambassador in Canberra and the ambassador is not expected to return to his post until solution is reached over the spying allegation.

The tension has spread to the business sector with state own company PT Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia (RNI) freezing talks with Australia cattle ranchers saying business cooperation must be based on trust on both sides.

RNI planned to acquire cattle farm in Australia to better guarantee beef supply to the country.

Indonesia has relied on imports mainly from Australia for beef supply.

RNI dismissed impact of the decision on beef supply to the country as it said it has sought cooperation with partners in New Zealand.

Some observers including former chief of the Indonesian Intelligence Agency (BIN) Hendropriyono said the government was overreacting to the wire tappings and that there was no need to demand an apology from Australian.

Lawmaker Tubagus Hasanuddin acknowledged that wire tapping was a normal activity in international context but it remains illegal.

Another lawmaker Bambang Soesatyo said despite the massive criticism Australia would not stop spying on Indonesia.

It might halt temporarily until the political tensions are settling down, but it would resume the activity later, Bambang said.

Australia and the United States were still worried of potential threat of Indonesian terrorist networks, he said.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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