Rizky Amelia, Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Ezra Sihite
The National Police have inexplicably prevented antigraft investigators from gathering evidence related to corruption allegations in the Rp 197 billion ($21 million) procurement of driving simulators for the traffic police division, an official said on Tuesday.
Johan Budi, a spokesman for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), said the refusal came on the same day that the KPK named Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo, the former traffic chief, a suspect for allegedly taking a Rp 2 billion bribe in the project.
He said there had previously been an agreement between the KPK and police to store the evidence in a room at the traffic police headquarters in East Jakarta before trucking it away.
“I don’t know what reason the police have for not allowing us to take the evidence,” Johan said.
He also said that as part of the prior agreement, several KPK investigators were assigned to stand guard over the evidence, along with police personnel.
“But I don’t know whether they’re in the same room or outside the building,” Johan said, adding that the evidence was packed in cardboard boxes that were sealed and marked.
“Obviously we want to bring this evidence to our office so that we can study it in more detail. Our leaders are now talking with the police chief about releasing the evidence.”
The police’s move has drawn the ire of legislators and antigraft activists alike. Aboebakar Al Habsyi, a member of House of Representatives Commission III, overseeing legal affairs, said police should not cover for any officers implicated in the case.
“There is no one who is immune to the law in this republic, and that includes law enforcement officials,” he said.
Eva Kusuma Sundari, also on Commission III, accused the police of double standards and called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to admonish National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo.
Indonesia Corruption Watch also weighed in, calling on the police to be “objective, transparent, accountable and cooperative with the KPK.”
Separately, Timur said his office would cooperate with the antigraft body, but he did not elaborate on what decision had been made about the seized evidence.
KPK chairman Abraham Samad, who met with Timur on Tuesday, insisted the evidence would be taken away by his office.