A silhouette photo of KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto as he makes a speech at Da’wah Center Building Muhammadiyah in Menteng, Jakarta on Feb. 8, 2015. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Lawyers: KPK’s Bambang Widjojanto Should Face Bar Association, Not Police

BY :YUSTINUS PAAT

FEBRUARY 13, 2015

Jakarta. Lawyers of antigraft deputy Bambang Widjojanto said the perjury allegations against their client should be heard by an ethics tribunal of the Indonesian bar association instead of the National Police, arguing that the case is closely linked to Bambang’s role as a lawyer.

Police have charged Bambang, a deputy chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), with compelling witnesses to commit perjury in a 2010 election dispute hearing. Bambang served as a lawyer for one of the candidates involved in the dispute.

“After reviewing [the police investigation against Bambang], the case is linked to his work as a lawyer,” said lawyer Abdul Fikar Hajar.

This would make the KPK deputy subject to the 2003 Law on Advocates, which protects him from any criminal charges, Abdul said.

Abdul added that the case should be heard by the Indonesian Advocates Association, Peradi, instead of being investigated criminally by the National Police.

“The bar association has the authority to determine whether a lawyer performed within the perimeters of the law,” he argued. “Therefore, Peradi must communicate with the National Police so they can take over the case.”

The investigation against Bambang is widely believed to be a retaliatory attack on the KPK for its decision to name Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan, a National Police chief candidate, a graft suspect last month.

The police have since opened cases on other KPK commissioners.

Bambang’s lawyer and chairman of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation Alvon Kurnia Palma said Peradi secretary general Hasanuddin Nasution has already signed a petition for the bar association to take over, and he was “now waiting for the signature of Peradi chairman Otto Hasibuan.”

Such a transfer of authority is not uncommon, said Abdul, citing eight previous cases in which Peradi took jurisdiction.

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