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Indonesia: Court Asks for Complete Papers in Test of Corruption Commission Law

(Sept. 4, 2012) On August 30, 2012, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court, which is considering a challenge to the constitutionality of the law that established the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), asked the applicants to file additional documents. The presiding Justice, Maria Farida Indrati, stated that “[t]he documents for our consideration must be revised so that it is clearer for us to decide,” adding that it had not yet been established what constitutional rights were infringed by the law. (Court Asks Applicants to Revise Papers in Judicial Review of KPK Law, THE JAKARTA POST (Aug. 30, 2012); Scene: Court to Examine KPK-Police Standoff, THE JAKARTA POST (Aug. 27, 2012).) The lawyers for the applicants said that the requested additional information would be provided to the Court. (Court Asks Applicants to Revise Papers in Judicial Review of KPK Law, supra.)

The provision being questioned is article 50, section 3, of the 2002 law that established the KPK. That section states that once the KPK begins a corruption investigation, the police and prosecutors no longer have the authority to investigate the case. (Undang-undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 30 Tahun 2002 tentang Komisi Pemberantasan Tindak Pidana Korupsi [Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 30 of the Year 2002, Concerning the Commission for the Eradication of the Crime of Corruption], LEMBARAN NEGARA REPUBLIK INDONESIA, No. 137 (2002); unofficial translation, Organisation for Economic Co-operaiton and Development website.)

The attorneys, in challenging the provision, noted that a prominent graft case had entailed two separate, but overlapping, investigations, one by the police and one by the KPK. With that situation in mind, the two attorneys each presented a different challenge to the law, one arguing that article 50 of the KPK law be dropped and the other asking that the Court issue a clarification of the article and strengthen the powers of the KPK (Scene: Court to Examine KPK-Police Standoff, supra.)

In the graft case the KPK has investigated two police generals as suspects linked to corruption in the purchase of driving simulators for the National Police Traffic Corps. Despite the provisions of the 2002 KPK law, the police have reportedly attempted to take over the investigation of the corruption charges. (Id.)