JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian House of Representatives has passed the controversial changes to a law governing the country’s most respected agencies Corruption Eradication Commission (CEC) today (09/17), amid of a big wave of rejection by anti-corruption activists, academics, community coalitions due to it’s considered killing the anti-graft commission.
The plenary session was chaired by parliament deputy speaker Fahri Hamzah and was only attended by 80 members of parliaments (MPs) when it was opened. Hamzah, who is often criticized for being vocal in supporting the revision, then continued the endorsement agenda by delivering the government representative’s response.
The response was read by the Minister of Justice and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly, President Joko Widodo’s colleagues at Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan Party. Laoly said President Widodo approved the revision being passed into law. The discussion on the revision of the CEC Law since it was officially proposed by the parliament to be approved in an MPs plenary meeting was only 13 days. The current MPs will end its term of office on September 30, 2019.
Then, President Widodo has thirty days to sign the new law. He previously asserted that the anti-graft law need to reform caused has 17 years old. For that, he said, there needs to be limited improvement so that the agency can run effectively.
Having successfully prosecuted hundreds of politicians and officials since its formation in 2002, the CEC has become one of the country’s most respected agencies. There have been repeated efforts by politicians and police to undermine the commission and last week parliament passed a motion to debate amendments to the 2002 law that created the commission.
The proposed changes include placing the agency under the oversight of an external board which would have the right to decide whether the anti-graft commission could run wiretaps. The mooted reforms have alarmed anti-corruption activists and society, who fear they are meant to weaken the agency.
Until the news was revealed thousands of people from various groups protesting against the revision in front of House building, accusing the government and parliament of conspiring to perpetuate corrupt practices in the country. They accused Widodo of lying to the public by promising to eradicate corruption during the presidential campaign. Even several top universities prepare a no-confidence motion to Widodo, begun from Indonesian Islamic University, Diponegoro University, Gadjah Madha University, Trisakti University, others.
At least seven important points were revised in the new law. First, the CEC’s position as a law enforcement agency is within the executive power cluster, in the exercise of its authority and duties are independent but is subject to the provisions of the state civil apparatus act.
Second, the formation of the Supervisory Board. In this case, in carrying out its duties and authority is overseen by the Board. The council numbered five who held positions for 4 years. The non-structural institution has duties including giving or not giving permission for wiretapping, search or seizure, establishing a code of ethics for CEC leaders and employees and overseeing the anti-graft commission.
Third, the implementation of wiretapping. In this case, wiretapping conducted by the CEC can be carried out after obtaining written permission from the Supervisory Board. In addition, the wiretapping is done for a maximum of 6 months and must be reported if it has been completed to the leadership of the commission.
Fourth, the mechanism to stop the investigation and or prosecution of corruption criminal cases handled by the CEC. In this case, the commission has the authority to stop investigations and prosecutions if they are not completed within a maximum period of one year.
Termination of investigations and prosecutions must be reported to the Supervisory Board and announced to the public. Termination of investigations and prosecutions by the CEC can be revoked if new evidence is found or based on a pretrial ruling.
Fifth, CEC’s institutional coordination with other existing law enforcement agencies is in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code, Police, Attorney’s Office, and other Ministries or institutions in carrying out investigations and prosecution of corruption cases.
Sixth, the search and seizure mechanism. In this case, the investigation process, the investigator can conduct a search and seizure of written permission from the Supervisory Board. While permits are granted no more than 1×24 hours by the Board.
Seventh, the CEC staffing system. In this case, the commission employees are state civil servants who are subject to statutory regulations.
Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org