President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he would enact a government regulation this week to regulate the process for police investigators on loan to the antigraft body.
“In one or two days we will enact [the regulation]. It will be the best [solution] for all, the National Police, the Corruption Eradication Commission, law enforcement and the fight against corruption,” Yudhoyono said on Thursday.
The commission, known as the KPK, on Wednesday urged the president to expedite the approval to block future premature recall of police investigators. This came after the National Police abruptly made a request to withdraw another 13 police officers from the agency.
However, State Secretary Sudi Silalahi said the draft government regulation would be deliberated on Thursday.
“[On Thursday] we will circulate [the draft] to be scrutinize by related ministers. … Hopefully once it is in the president’s hands in a matter of just two hours it will all be [enacted],” he said.
KPK Commissioner Busyro Muqoddas had earlier complained about the slow deliberation process of the draft regulation “because talks have been protracted for two years between the KPK, the Ministry for Bureaucratic Reform and the Attorney General’s Office.”
Sudi admitted the deliberation process was slow but said the government needs to consider contrasting arguments to produce the final draft. “We have been fixing [the draft] over and over again,” he said.
The police request to recall 13 of its investigators was made on Nov. 30, threatening to grind the KPK’s investigation into several major corruption cases to a halt.
“If the president agrees, then the presidential decree will become the most important political decision to tackle problems faced by the KPK,” Busyro said.
Yudhoyono said that he is trying to prevent the premature recall by stipulating that police should assign its investigators to the KPK for a four-year term. The current regulation vaguely describes how long the term should be.
“I have given my instructions. For me a four-year term is fitting. Less than that would be too short, longer than that will disturb the career development of the [loaned police] officers,” he said.
However, it is not clear whether the regulation would give the KPK more power to recruit its own investigators, which critics say would grant more independence in investigating graft cases linked to the National Police or other law agencies.
Among the cases investigated by the KPK is one involving the National Police Traffic Corps’ procurement of driving simulators, which was allegedly rigged and awarded to an unqualified company, costing the state more than $10.4 million.
On Monday, the KPK arrested former traffic police chief Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo for allegedly receiving bribes linked to the driving simulator procurement, which many said prompted police to retaliate by recalling its investigators.
The National Police had already tried to pull out 20 of its investigators assigned to the KPK but six of them — including Comr. Novel Baswedan, who leads the KPK’s investigation team on the driving simulator case — have since opted to join the antigraft body permanently and drop their police affiliation.
Separately, National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said his agency would remain committed in assisting the KPK.
“We have been supporting each other,” Timur claimed. “Including about the need for investigators. If they still need [more investigators] we will talk about it. Law enforcement, including against corruption, must continue.”