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Indonesia: Corruption Court Judges Arrested

(Aug. 23, 2012) Two judges of local corruption courts in Indonesia have themselves been accused of taking bribes by the national Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi, or KPK). The two judges, associated with the Semarang Anti-Corruption Court in central Java, were arrested on August 17, 2012, after allegedly receiving a bribe of Rp 100 million (about US$10,500) in the parking lot of the Semarang District Court. The person conveying the payment was also arrested. KPK Deputy Chief Bambang Widjojanto stated that they had caught the three people “red-handed.” (Ezra Sihite, Two Indonesian Anti-Corruption Judges Caught Red-Handed Receiving Bribes,THE JAKARTA GLOBE(Aug. 17, 2012).) According to the Deputy Chief, the payment came indirectly from a public figure involved in a case of graft. (KPK Arrests Two Corruption Court Judges in Semarang, THE JAKARTA POST (Aug. 17, 2012).)

The KPK was established by Law No. 30 of 2002. (Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 30 Tahun 2002, Tentang Komisi Pemberantasan Tindak Pidana Korupsi [Law of the Republic of Indonesia on the Commission to Eradicate Criminal Acts of Corruption], Inspectorate General Administration website; unofficial translation available at International Centre for Asset Recovery; Vision and Mission [in Indonesian], KPK website (all last visited Aug. 22, 2012).)

The Commission's duties include coordinating efforts of other corruption fighting institutions in the country, conducting investigations and prosecutions related to corrupt actions, taking preventive measures against corruption, and monitoring state governance. (KPK: The Corruption Eradication Commission of Indonesia, Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption website (last visited Aug. 22, 2012).)

The current instance was not the first time that the KPK has arrested judges on corruption charges; previous arrests included such figures as a supervisory judge in the Central Jakarta District and an Industrial Relations Court judge with the Bandung District Court. The defendants in this case will be transferred to Jakarta, according to a KPK spokesman. (KPK Arrests Two Corruption Court Judges in Semarang, supra.)