ANT/Indonesias graft now more sophisticated - Officials

Posted by: biznews

ANT/Indonesias graft now more sophisticated - Officials - 15 Jun 07 12:41

Indonesias graft now more sophisticated - Officials

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Corruption remains widespread in Indonesia and is getting more sophisticated despite the government's high-profile drive to eradicate it, officials involved in fighting graft said on Thursday.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won the country's first direct election in October 2004 on a pledge to end corruption. Experts have consistently rated Indonesia as among the world's most corrupt.

"I believe corruption is still the same as before, but it has now different types, occurs in different areas. Previously it was more centralised but now it's spread all over the country," said Amien Sunaryadi, deputy chairman of the powerful Corruption Eradication Commission.

The commission was established in 2003 to investigate corruption cases and prosecute suspects because the government believed the Attorney General's office lacked the capacity to deal with mounting graft cases.

Since Yudhoyono's high-profile anti-graft campaign started, officials ranging from a former religious affairs minister to the governor of Aceh province have been jailed on corruption charges.

But Sunaryadi said corruption had become more sophisticated.

"We arrested old players but new players keep coming," Sunaryadi was quoted by Reuters as telling foreign correspondents.

Todung Mulya Lubis, chairman of the corruption watchdog Transparency International Indonesia, said Yudhoyono's failure to bring former President Suharto to justice for alleged corruption showed some powerful people were still above the law.

"He (Yudhoyono) has disappointed a lot of people. We are quite upset," he said.

Suharto, who resigned amid civil unrest in 1998 after more than 30 years of iron-fisted rule, was charged with graft but escaped prosecution as courts accepted medical statements he was too ill to stand trial.

The former president and family members deny any wrongdoing.

The Attorney General's office said in May it was preparing to sue Suharto in a civil case, in a bid to recover state funds from his charitable foundations alleged to have been misused.

Yunus Hussein, chairman of the Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Centre, said Indonesia has the biggest number of suspicious financial transactions globally.

But he said proving the money had been obtained through corruption was difficult. (*)
Posted by: chewwyUK

Re: ANT/Indonesias graft now more sophisticated - Officials - 15 Jun 07 12:48

Does anybody know how many people have been successfully prosecuted by the anti graft commission since it started in 2003??
Posted by: kenyeung

Re: ANT/Indonesias graft now more sophisticated - Officials - 18 Jun 07 11:45

"since it started in 2003" is a bit unfair. KPK’s creation was mandated in a 2002 law, but it wasn’t until late September 2003 (after promises of foreign aid) that Megawati finally issued a decree commissioning a committee to select KPK’s five leaders. The five were appointed in the last week of December 2003. Due to delays in the flow of funding for infrastructure and support staff, KPK took over six months to get into action.

How many people has KPK successfully prosecuted? NOT MANY (only 14 cases successfully prosecuted last year), though each year they are doing more/better. Here are last year’s successful KPK prosecutions (as listed in KPK's fluff-infested annual report):

KPK Cases with Permanent Legal Ruling (lnkracht van Gewijsde)
• Two (2) cases related to the involvement in a corruption crime involving the Former Governor of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam as the defendant, at the appellate level currently being examined and trial at the Jakarta High Court,
• Three (3) cases related to the procurement of goods and printed materials for the 2004 General Election,
• Two (2) cases related to a corruption crime in the procurement of insurance service for the General Election Commission (KPU)'s General Election workers,
• A case related to an attempted bribery to a judge at the Supreme Court,
• Two (2) cases related to the collection for passport renewal at the Immigration Attache of the Indonesian Consulate General in Penang, Malaysia,
• A case related to the sale of a land property of the Bandung branch of PT Industri Sandang Nusantara (Persero),
• A case related to the use of goods and service procurement for laboratory equipment at the Department of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries,
• A case related to bribery by a General Election Commission (KPU) member to employees of the State Audit Agency (BPK),
• A case related to the procurement of ballot boxes for the 2004 General Election .

Recouped State Loss
The potential recoupment of state losses under a Court ruling that had earned permanent legal assurance (inkracht), i.e. rulings on seized monies/goods, compensation money and penalties was IDR27.75 billion. Of this amount, IDRI2.77 billion has been successfully deposited to the State Treasury Account.

Anyway, KPK chief Taufiequrachman Ruki in July 2005 basically admitted that KPK can’t nab the most powerful/most crooked politicians/generals/tycoons. Here’s how Newsweek reported it: Ruki admits that law enforcement in Indonesia "can never be totally [isolated] from political interference," adding: "We go after the big fish, but if the fish is too big, my commission could sink."

Ruki and his mostly honest associates such as Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas and Tupak Shakur Panggabean finish their four-year term at the end of this year and will likely be replaced by MUCH WORSE/MORE PRO-GOLKAR guys, given the influence of crooked Jusuf Kalla. So expect next year’s KPK to prosecute more of Mega’s ex-ministers/cronies and far fewer Golkar folk.
Posted by: chewwyUK

Re: ANT/Indonesias graft now more sophisticated - Officials - 18 Jun 07 11:54

14 cases in a year ... so not making any impact. Do you think it would work better if they had one team looking at the big fish / high profile cases and another team that looks at the millions of low level graft?

I would think that with a good media campaign telling people of their rights followed by a lot of shots of low level tax, manpower, immigration people being arrested would send the right message.
Posted by: kenyeung

Re: ANT/Indonesias graft now more sophisticated - Officials - 18 Jun 07 21:17

KPK is supposed to spear the big fish. When KPK receives reports from the public about lower level corruption, such reports are generally delegated down to the cops and the attorney general's office/local prosecution offices. Conversely, when the cops/jaksa agung are too weak to manage an indictment/prosecution, such cases are sometimes delegated to KPK.

At the height of reformasi demands in mid-1998, Sutiyoso admitted that if he fired all of his corrupt staff he would have no staff left. Imperative to abandon the mentality of slavish obsequiousness to authority. Also imperative to get cleaner bosses into kopri, ministries, govt agencies and the security forces/police, with orders to weed out their most crooked subordinates (and tossing them in jail for a long time). Won't happen in our lifetime though (I'm 78, you see). There's as much chance as:

Getting the Suharto clan, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, Hendropriyono, Wiranto, Prabowo, crooked former governors, generals, police chiefs, my former landlady and many others against the wall and shooting them.

Current KKN system is vastly more tolerable than the prospect of Shariah-led KKN.