Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Jakarta, Nov 7, 2017 (Antara) - More than 200 days have passed since Novel Baswedan, senior investigator of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), was attacked with acid that has caused him to lose vision in his left eye, but the perpetrators are still at large and unidentified.
         Until now, both the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police and the National Police's Crime Investigation Department are incessantly investigating the case.
         The National Police does not intend to either slow down the investigation into the case or lose focus in dealing with it, according to Brigadier General Rikwanto, a spokesman of the National Police (Polri)
    He, however, admitted that the investigation has failed to trace the attackers.
         "It remains uncertain as to who the perpetrators are. We do not have strong evidence to name someone as a suspect," Rikwanto told the press on Oct 6, 2017.
         He urged anyone with information on the attackers to report it to the police or the KPK.
         He confirmed that the National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian will, in the near future, report to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) about the ongoing investigation into the unsolved case.
         Earlier, President Jokowi said he will discuss Baswedan's case with Karnavian.
         "Later, I will invite the Police chief. I will call him," President Jokowi stated recently in response to questions posed by the press regarding a suggestion to establish a joint fact finding team (TPGF) to probe the case.
         He said every case has to be dealt with in a clear and transparent manner. "For sure, every case must be open and clear," Jokowi noted.

         KPK Chairman Agus Rahardjo revealed that a suggestion was made to set up a joint fact-finding team. If every commissioner of the KPK agrees to the suggestion, the KPK will put forth a suggestion to the president about establishing an independent team.
         Rahardjo made the statement on Oct 31, 2017, after he and Basaria Panjaitan, a KPK commissioner, had held a meeting with former KPK commissioners and anti-corruption activists as well as prominent figures to discuss Baswedan's case whose investigation seems to have not made any headway.
         Abraham Samad, Busyro Muqoddas, Bambang Widjojanto, and M. Yasin, all of whom were former chairmen and commissioners of the KPK; Secretary General of International Transparency of Indonesia Dadang Trisasongko; Mochtar Pabotinggi, researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences; senior journalist Najwa Shihab; Director of International Amnesty in Indonesia Usman Hamid; Muhammad Isnur of the Legal Aid Foundation; Haris Azhar, former Kontras chairman; and Chairman of Muhammadiyah Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, among others, were present at the meeting.
         Rahardjo said the KPK had not proposed the formation of a joint fact-finding team to President Jokowi, as the anti-graft agency had lately been preoccupied with major corruption cases.
         On April 11, 2017, Baswedan was fatally attacked while heading home after performing Fajr, or the Dawn prayer, at a mosque nearby when two motorcyclists hurled acid on his face that injured his eyes, particularly the left eye. He is currently being treated in a Singapore hospital.
         Baswedan, a 40-year-old retired police officer, had joined the anti-graft agency in 2007 and since then has been frequently terrorized and attacked.
         In 2012, his motorcycle was seriously damaged after being attacked by supporters of convict Amran Batalipu, a former district head of Buol in Central Sulawesi Province.
         In 2016, Baswedan was hit by a car while driving a motorcycle on his way to the KPK building.    
    Since 2012, he has also been criminalized, and in 2015, he was named a suspect in a maltreatment case that had occurred in Bengkulu in 2004 when his subordinates arrested several swallow nest thieves. Baswedan was head of the Bengkulu Police's criminal investigation unit in 2004.
         In August 2017, Brigadier General Aris Budiman, KPK's investigation director, reported Baswedan to the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police for alleged defamation. In September 2017, Senior Commissioner Erwanto Kurniadi, deputy director in charge of corruption crimes of the National Police's Crime Investigation Department (Bareskrim), also reported Baswedan to the Jakarta Police for his statement that "undermined the integrity of police investigators."
    Meanwhile, the National Police has opined that there is no need to form a joint fact-finding team (TPGF) to handle the case on acid attack on Novel Baswedan.
         "A TPGF is not needed," Rikwanto said, adding that the time frame to solve each case differs. "There are cases that can be solved fast, while some others are rather slow, and there are also cases that take a very long time to solve," he said.
         Rikwanto said the TPGF would not expedite investigations into the case. In fact, it could serve as a precedent that every case, in which the investigation process seems rather slow, needs to be handled by the TPGF, he added.
         "The (establishment of a) TPGF should not become a routine thing. Later, anyone, who feels that investigation into his case is slow, will demand for the establishment of a TPGF. Hence, such a special right is not solely reserved for Novel's case. Everyone has the same right. However, this (TPGF) will not solve the problem," he said.
         Furthermore, the Police has also regretted the fact that Novel Baswedan has been less cooperative with police investigators while handling his case.
         The police twice sent investigators to Singapore to grill Baswedan, but no information could be obtained from Baswedan, according to Rikwanto.
         "We sent investigators to Singapore to confirm what he (Baswedan) had told several media, namely Time Magazine, several national media, and local media. The investigators asked him what he had told those media, but (we) did not get any answer," Rikwanto stated.
         Polri hoped that Baswedan would be willing to be cooperative with investigators in trying to solve the case, he remarked.
         Earlier, KPK's Deputy Chief Laode M. Syarif said that the commission had kept the lines of communication open with the Indonesian Police regarding the investigation of the Baswedan case.
         "We have frequently held an informal communication with the (Jakarta) police chief, the Indonesian police chief, as well as his deputy. According to the latest information, they have found some clues but are yet to disclose them," Syarif remarked.
         Syarif reiterated that the commission had yet to consider the establishment of an independent team to investigate the case. ***2***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/Bustanuddin) 07-11-2017

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