Soekarno-Hatta International Airport’s embattled head of immigration did not need to be detained, Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin said on Monday.
Rochadi Imam Santoso had been cooperating with investigators, the minister said, adding that police still had a ways to go before solidifying their case.
“I regret the detainment, my opinion it should be never happened because the head of immigration has been very cooperative throughout the investigation process,” Amir said. “This case still need cross checking with various parties inside and outside Indonesia, which need time, accuracy and thoroughness.”
Rochadi allegedly forged the travel documents of Toh Ke Ng Siong, a Singapore national, in exchange for a bribe. The Singaporean is involved in a separate court case with a local company.
The falsified document showed a visit to Indonesia on certain dates. But that visit never took place, police said.
“We arrested him on Friday on suspicion that he forged a travel document for a Singaporean,” said police spokesman Rikwanto.
“The Singaporean’s lawyer had requested the document for a legal case and Santoso allegedly issued it, saying the person had arrived in Indonesia and left the following day. But that never happened.”
Amir was critical of the Rochadi’s detainment, but said he would stay out of the investigation.
“As Justice and Human Rights Minister I’m not in position to intervene in legal proceedings conducted by law enforcement officers ,” Amir said.
Official graft is rampant in Indonesia, a vast archipelago of about 240 million people scattered on more than 17,000 islands.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s popularity has steadily fallen throughout his second term as the public loses faith in his fight against corruption.
A Gallup poll released in October 2011 found that 91 percent of Indonesians believe corruption in government is widespread, compared to 84 percent in 2006.
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse