Police to Examine House Request on Forced Summons of KPK Officials

The National Police pushed a proposal for the establishment of a multi-billion-rupiah special anticorruption unit on Monday (16/10), amid growing support from lawmakers who are increasingly hostile toward the country's existing antigraft agency. (Reuters Photo/Crack Palinggi)

By : Alin Almanar & Dames Alexander Sinaga | on 11:49 AM October 13, 2017
Category : News, Politics & Law

Jakarta. The National Police will collect expert opinions and hold internal discussions to review the House of Representatives request for assistance in summoning antigraft officials, in relation to its right of inquiry into the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, top police official said on Thursday (12/10).

Since the legislature launched its right of inquiry into the KPK in April, it has summoned the antigraft agency's officials several times, but they did not show up.

"The police will discuss the request internally, with regard to what steps should be taken, and will also invite experts [to express their opinions]," National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said during a House hearing.

Tito said the police will ask experts in constitutional and criminal law, whether they are obligated to assist the House in its inquiry into the KPK.

The police chief said that any forceful summons must be regulated by the Code of Criminal Procedures (Kuhap), while the recent attempts by the House are not under it.

"Don't let it backfire, we don't want to be blamed by many parties," Tito said.

According to Hendardi, executive director at rights group Setara Institute, the legislature's demand is "irrelevant."

"Forced summons are only justified in the context of individuals who have committed crimes," he said, adding that police have been right in helping the KPK in arresting graft suspects and bringing them for hearings, as the agency is part of the country's criminal justice system.

He also said that the validity of the House's right of inquiry is currently investigated by the Constitutional Court.

"The police should ignore the request of the House and respect the ongoing judicial process at the Constitutional Court."

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