President Joko Widodo (right) and Imam Nahrawi (left) expression after watching Indonesian athletes compete in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta - Photo: Privacy.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian youth and sports minister Imam Nahrawi was formally named a suspect in the bribery case of granting a national sports committee by the Corruption Eradication Commission (CEC) today (09/18). Nahrawi was appointed by President Joko Widodo to become his staff on October 26, 2014, the youngest minister on the Cabinet.

In this case, Nahrawi is thought to have received Rp26.5 billion (US$1.89 million) in two-phase. In the first phase of the 2016-2018 period, he asked for a total of Rp11.8 billion. And the second phase he received Rp14.7 billion, the anti-graft agency said.

The CEC Sets Transition Team to Measure Revises Law

Meanwhile, the CEC set an independent Transition Team to measures article changes noted in the newly-ratified law and to identify consequences of the changes towards the institution, human resources, and task implementation in the prosecution and prevention unit, the agency announced today. The CEC sees there was a plot to weaken and amputate its freedom to fight against graft.

“To optimize the duty, the leaders have formed an independent transition team to measures article changes as well as to recommend future actions that are needed to be carried out gradually to commissioners,” said the commission spokesman Febri Diansyah in Jakarta.

Its follow the parliament voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve changes to a law governing the country’s anti-corruption agency, which activists fear could undermine its powers to tackle corruption. The CEC has prosecuted hundreds of politicians and officials since its formation in 2002, becoming one of the country’s most respected agencies. But there have been repeated efforts by politicians and police to undermine it.

Diansyah, however, stated that the anti-graft body will resume its chores in preventing and prosecuting corruption practices after the draft bill is passed into law. The investigation is still running, tasks to prevent grafts as well, he added. The agency, he went on, sees a number of changes to the rules that are different from the points presented by President Joko Widodo, and these changes can indeed weaken the agency’s work.

Its chairman Agus Rahardjo has also instructed all the employees to continue their jobs. He called for them to remain as corruption eradicators.

“We shall not stop fighting corruption. We’ll go straight to the point so there will be no hesitation upon continuing our intended task,” he said, adding his institution does not want the public support toward corruption eradication end as the new law arose, which is why they remain committed to the initial tasks in hand.

A key proposed amendment would place the anti-graft agency, which currently operates as an independent agency, under government oversight. Civil rights and anti-corruption campaigners said this would curtail the CEC’s power to investigate without interference from the executive.

“You need independence to investigate high-profile cases involving powerful businesspeople and political elites. The country’s political elites, from all the different political parties, whether from a religious or nationalist party, are all the same. They do not care about the public or national interest. Their basic interest is material, whether it is to do with economic resources or political resources,” Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) coordinator Adnan Topan Husodo told the media on Tuesday.

But the government did not budge, saying the revision was absolutely necessary to strengthen and legitimize the CEC’s authority in combating corruption.

In a press conference on Wednesday, chief security minister Wiranto stressed the status of the CEC as a law enforcement agency must be in the executive, but still carry out its duties and authorities independently. This refers to the decision of the Constitutional Court Number 36 the Year 2017.

Before it was revised, the CEC referred to only state institutions which in carrying out their duties and authorities were independent and free from the influence of any power.

Then the formation of the Supervisory Board. During its operation, the CEC is monitored by the supervisory body which consists of five officials who have the position for 4 years and elected by the president. The nonstructural body has several tasks regarding permission to wiretapping, search, or seizure, setting a code of ethics for commissioners and employees, as well as monitoring the CEC.

“In a democracy, there are no institutions with unlimited power, even the president,” he said adding that it needed to ensure that the performance is in accordance with the functions and authorities according to the Court Law.

Furthermore, he said the wiretapping operation can be carried out by CEC after it receives a written permit from the Supervisory Board. Also, the wiretapping can be done for 6 months, and the CEC is obliged to submit a report to its leaders.

Wiranto went on saying that the CEC is allowed to halt an investigation and prosecution if the corruption case is not solved within one year at maximum.

The termination of investigation and prosecution must be reported to the Supervisory Board and announced to the public. The termination is eligible to be revoked if new evidence is found or based on the pre-trial verdict.

Then coordination between CEC and other law enforcement bodies is under the Criminal Code, police, the Prosecutor’s Office, and other ministries or institutions, in conducting investigations and prosecutions of graft cases.

So the investigators are allowed to conduct search and seizure operation with written permission from the Supervisory Board. The permit will be issued 1×24 hours at maximum. Finally, the system of CEC employees is the state apparatus who abide by the regulation.

US$1=Rp14,200

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com