The chief of the National Police said that the recent recall of 20 investigating officers assigned to work with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) were removed to undergo career development, and not as a slight to the anti-graft body.
“A career in the police is not just as an investigator . . . [they] can be a regional deputy police chief and then turned into a regional chief and need to go to school again,” National Police Chief General Timur Pradopo said on Monday. “All should be given the chance [to develop] competence.”
Amid recent tense relations between the National Police and KPK, police recalled 20 of their officers assigned to assist the KPK with their caseload; one of the 20 recalled officers was involved in the driving simulator investigation.
The National Police originally claimed that the investigator’s working term had ended, but anti-corruption activists accused the police of purposely removing their officers to impede the KPK investigation into the graft-tainted purchase of driving simulators by the National Police’s traffic corps.
“Undeniably, the recall of 20 detectives assigned to the KPK was caused by a conflict in the simulator case,” Donald Fariz, a legal investigator from Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) said on Saturday.
But Timur denied such claims, saying the recall had long been planned, and was unrelated to the contentious driving simulator investigation; Timur also said the National Police have prepared officers to replace the recently removed 20 in accordance with an agreement between two institutions.
“We’re ready to support the [KPK] anytime, even now we can prepare [new investigators],” Timur said, adding that people should see the recall as a method to refresh the officers. “We’re preparing better investigators.”
But Busyro Muqoddas, the deputy chairman of the KPK, said on Monday that if the police insisted on removing the 20 officers, there will only be 68 investigators left to handled hundreds of cases — a single investigator could potentially handle up to 15 cases at the same time.
He hoped Timur would approve the KPK’s request to extend the working term of the 20 officers.
“If he allows it, I think it will show his big heart that we’ve been waiting for,” Busyro said as quoted by Detik.com on Monday. “It will be his charity.”