Indonesia to form team to probe graft agency case

Indonesia's president on Monday ordered an investigation into an alleged plot against the country's anti-corruption agency.

Indonesia to form team to probe graft agency case

Indonesia's president on Monday ordered an investigation into an alleged plot against the country's anti-corruption agency, considered a key weapon in the fight against graft and efforts to attract investment.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was re-elected in July to a second, five-year term partly on the back of the agency's success in fighting endemic graft and his promises to continue to clean up one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

But the agency, which has helped put scores of officials in prison, has made many enemies among the elite in business and politics, and has come under threat after police detained two senior officials widely thought to have been framed.

Yudhoyono will issue a presidential decree to set up the independent team that will investigate the detention of the two Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK officials, Security and Political Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto said.

Chandra Hamzah and Bibit Samad Riyanto, two of four deputy chiefs at the KPK, were detained last week and police said they were suspected of graft and abuse of power. Both deny the allegations.

"This afternoon the formation of an independent team to verify facts and the legal process related to Chandra and Bibit has been agreed," said Suyanto.

Local media reported last week the two men, recently removed from their jobs, may have been framed.

The reports are based on what were said to be transcripts of recorded conversations between several individuals, including a businessman, a former official from the attorney general's office, and a police investigator, in which they appeared to plan the framing of the two KPK officials.

The case has triggered a public outcry, with nearly 400,000 people signed up to a Facebook campaign in support of the two men. About 500 protesters wearing black armbands and calling for the release of the two officials marched in central Jakarta on Monday, chanting: "Clean up the police force immediately."

National police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri denied on Friday the case against the two men was flawed.

The independent team, which will consist of the president's legal advisers, academics, and anti-graft activists including the respected lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis, is expected to finish its work in two weeks, Suyanto said.

"We don't want this issue to cause people to distrust an institution. We need the police, we also need the KPK," said Hikmahanto Juwana, an academic from University of Indonesia and a member of the independent team.

A survey by Transparency International conducted last year found the police and the judiciary to be among the country's most corrupt institutions.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Kasım 2009, 14:46
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