KPK investigator’s lawyer says opportunists using acid attack as political commodity

Tribune News – January 16, 2019
Baswedan (right) and his wife (centre) at Save KPK event – January 15, 2019 (Tribune)
Baswedan (right) and his wife (centre) at Save KPK event – January 15, 2019 (Tribune)

Irwan Rismawan, Jakarta – The lawyer representing Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator Novel Baswedan, Saor Siagian, believes that there are parties which are intentionally taking advantage of the 2017 acid attack against his client as a commodity for their political campaigns.

According Siagian, the parties taking advantage of Baswedan’s case are opportunists who are using it for their campaign in the 2019 presidential election.

“What I’m afraid of is that there are political opportunists which are bringing this case into their campaigns. This is what you call misguided”, said Siagian at the Sarinah shopping mall in Central Jakarta on Tuesday January 15.

Siagian revealed that the parties taking advantage of Baswedan’s case have made no contribution whatsoever to solving the attack.

“There are political opportunists who have actually done nothing at all for brother Novel who has been made into a hero and become a political commodity in the presidential election”, said Siagian.

As has been reported, police has still not solved the acid attack on Baswedan which occurred almost two years ago.

In April 2017 Baswedan was attacked by two unidentified assailants as he was returning home from dawn prayers at the Ihsan Mosque near his home in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.

The two individuals who were riding a motorbike threw acid on Baswedan’s face and as a result Baswedan was almost blinded and his left eye was left 95 percent damaged.


Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto has used the acid attack on Baswedan in an attempt to deflect accusations of his involvement in past human rights violations by arguing that the attack was a “gross human rights violation” committed under President Joko Widodo’s watch.

Under mounting public pressure, last month the government formed a joint fact finding team to investigate the case involving the KPK, experts and senior police officials – despite the fact that on several occasions Baswedan has said that he suspects a senior “police general” was the behind the attack – and the very reason many believe police have made no progress in the case.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Pengacara Novel: Ada Oportunis Politik Manfaatkan Kasus Novel untuk Kampanye Pilpres”.]