New election-rigging allegations involving disgraced Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar surfaced on Monday as the Corruption Eradication Commission’s (KPK) probe widened to include a South Sumatra election, a worrying sign that the chief justice may have sold-off the court’s authority nationwide.
An attorney representing Hazuar Budui and Agus Sutikno filed a complaint with the KPK on Monday alleging bribery and election rigging in a district head race in Banyuasin, a lowland South Sumatra district that encompasses the Kampar Pensinula and runs contiguous to the city of Palembang.
Golkar Party candidate Yan Anton took the race in a contested victory challenged by Hazuar, who came in second in the election. The Constitutional Court, under the authority of Akil, reportedly rejected the appeal.
Lawyer Alamsyah Hanafiah said the verdict was fixed in the complaint, alleging that Akil accepted a bribe to shut down Hazuar’s appeal.
“The bribe totaled Rp 10 billion [$885,000],” Alamsyah said outside the KPK, as quoted by Indonesian magazine Tempo.
When Yan failed to hand over more than the Rp 2 billon downpayment, Akil reportedly wrote to South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin, also of Golkar Party, asking him to postpone Yan’s inauguration.
The Banyuasin case may be the start of a potential blizzard of accusations. Elections in Bali, East Nusa Tenggara and East Java also fell victim to media scrutiny today as Akil’s alleged involvement in several contested races made headlines.
It’s a concerning sign that the nation is heading toward the worst-case scenario here: that the Gunung Mas, Central Kalimantan, and Lebak, Banten, elections were not isolated incidents of opportunism, but the first of many for-sale election verdicts on a national scale to be uncovered by the antigraft authority.
The case has already resulted in charges filed against six people, including Akil, Golkar lawmaker Chairun Nisa and Tubagus Chaeri Wardana — the brother of Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiya.
Meanwhile, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) announced that the results of drug tests on Akil would be available on Tuesday. The agency collected samples of the suspended chief justice’s hair and urine after KPK investigators discovered quantities of marijuana and pills during a search of the Constitutional Court offices.
The pills, initially believed to be Ecstasy, were later identified as methamphetamine. Laboratory tests had shown the drugs were similar to the methamphetamine pills commonly sold in other Southeast Asian countries, but rarely seen in Indonesia.
“The pills contained methamphetamine, which is usually found in its crystal form,” BNN spokesman Sumirat Dwiyanto said. “[The pills] could have been modified by drug bosses.”
The level of involvement the BNN has in the investigation will be determined by whether Akil’s tests come back positive, he said.
Consumption is a criminal offense in Indonesia.