Wahyu Setiawan, Jakarta – IndonesiaLeaks has questioned the national police headquarters’ decision to halt the criminal investigation into alleged evidence tampering in the case of beef imports, better known as the Red Book case. The police stated that the case is now resolved because the case presentation did not find any evidence of tampering.
One of the initiators of IndonesiaLeaks, Abdul Manan, said that the police should clearly reveal to the public the basis and reasons for halting the cases. The chairperson of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) is sure that IndonesiaLeaks has already provided sufficient evidence [to prosecute the case].
“The police need to convince the public that the case presentation is convincing enough for the investigation into the case to be stopped. Moreover what caused the investigation to be halted? This I think is what we have not yet got, a sufficiently clear explanation from the police. They have only said that they did a case presentation and the investigation has been stopped. But what was the reason for stopping it?”, asked Manan when contacted by KPR on Thursday October 24.
“Of course we also expect support from the public to ask the government whether or not the police’s decision to stop the investigation was appropriate without providing a sufficiently clear explanation of the basis for halting the investigation”, he said in short.
On Thursday October 17 IndonesiaLeaks released excerpts from CCTV recording which was said to show Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators allegedly tampering with evidence. The damaged evidence was related to a bribery case involving a judicial review of the Livestock and Animal Healthcare Law.
In a press release Thursday October 24, National police spokesperson Mohammad Iqbal said that there was no evidence on the CCTV record of evidence tampering. This is why the police halted the investigation into the case.
Iqbal said that the case of the alleged evidence tampering or the removal of pages from the Red Book was resolved after holding a case presentation involving the KPK and the Attorney General’s Office.
“Moreover the CCTV recording which has been circulated was intestinally circulated to create a baseless opinion, and there was also no evidence found that evidence tampering occurred”, said Iqbal.
The Indonesia Leaks video can be viewed on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii2BEhxUFR8
In October 2018 IndonesiaLeaks released a report of a joint investigation which focused on the destruction of key evidence relating to the bribery case involving former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Patrialis Akbar and cattle importer Basuki Hariman, which was being investigated by the KPK in 2017. The IndonesiaLeaks investigation alleged that in April 2017, two police investigators on loan to the anti-graft agency from the National Police, Roland Ronaldy and Harun, tore nine pages from a red bank transaction record book.
The removed pages allegedly documented the flow of funds to dozens of public officials, including then Jakarta Metropolitan Police Chief Tito Karnavian – who later went on to become the national police chief and was appointed as the new Home Affairs Minister on October 3. An internal KPK investigation in 2017 found that the two police investigators were guilty of destroying evidence and violating the KPK Code of Ethics. Given that obstructing a corruption investigation is a criminal offence the KPK could have pursued charges against them. But the two investigators were simply returned to the national police and the case vanished. Both are still on active duty and, in fact, received promotions soon after their return to the police institution.
Karnavian has since resigned as national police chief and on October 23 was appointed as the new Home Affairs Minister by President Joko Widodo.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Polisi Hentikan Penyelidikan Buku Merah, Indonesialeaks Tuntut Penjelasan”.]