Corruption Eradication Committee Chairman Firli Bahuri, Monday (20/11) spoke openly about a number of denials regarding the alleged extortion case against former Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo (SYL) which involved him. He claims to have never been involved in acts of extortion, bribery and gratification. Firli also denied that he had been absent from the Polda Metro Jaya summons in early November. According to him, he could not attend because there were KPK activities in Aceh at the same time.
“Everything is informative and everything is done communicatively, there is never a break in communication and information,” said Firli in Jakarta.
Firli added that he had worked for 40 years in the Indonesian Police. However, he felt strange when he was questioned by Polda Metro Jaya investigators in this case. Firli said, a total of more than 100 people had been questioned, around 20 of whom were KPK employees.
Screenshot of KPK Chairman Firli Bahuri (Courtesy: YouTube KPK).
He also said that he had given information to police investigators and submitted his State Officials’ Wealth Report (LHKPN).
“And there were also several experts who were asked for information, of course the Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK) has submitted several documents requested by Polda Metro Jaya investigators and they have been provided,” he added.
Firli also claimed that this alleged extortion case was a backlash from corruptors against him and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) which had carried out corruption eradication work.
ICW Denies Firli’s Claims About Backlash
Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) Coordinator Agus Sunaryanto said Firli was playing himself as a victim or playing victim as if there was a backlash from corruptors. Firli hopes for support from the public by conveying this statement, he added.
Deputy Coordinator of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) Agus Sunaryanto (private doc.)
“But those who understand Firli’s track record will definitely not be trapped. The proof is that while he was being processed at the Regional Police, there were no anti-corruption activists and various other elements who supported him,” Agus told VOA, Monday (20/11) evening.
Agus added that the Firli case was also different from the case of the counterattack against the KPK in the previous period. For example, the arrest made by the National Police Headquarters of the KPK leader in 2015, namely Bambang Widjojanto (BW). Bambang was arrested not long after the Corruption Eradication Committee named National Police Chief candidate Budi Gunawan as a corruption suspect. Apart from that, there are other KPK leaders also facing criminal attempts by the police, namely Bibit Samad Rianto, Chandra M. Hamzah, and Novel Baswedan.
“Bibit, Samad, BW, Abraham Samad, many people are busy making a presidential conference to support the case being stopped by the police and prosecutors. They even made a human chain to protect the KPK building,” he added.
On the contrary, said Agus, many civil society people are now pushing the police to name Firli Bahuri as a suspect.
Firli Abstained from Police Summons Three Times
Firli was recorded as being absent three times from summons from Polda Metro Jaya for various reasons, in the case of alleged blackmail against the former Minister of Agriculture SYL who dragged him. In the case that emerged as a result of the SYL report, Polda Metro Jaya on October 6 raised this case from investigation to the investigation stage.
Four days later, on October 11, the Corruption Eradication Committee named SYL as a suspect for alleged criminal acts of corruption related to abuse of power by forcing him to give something for the job auction process, including participating in the procurement of goods and services accompanied by receiving gratuities within the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan).
SYL is suspected of making personal policies regarding levies and deposits, including from the Ministry of Agriculture’s internal ASN, to meet personal and family needs, in 2020-2023. (sm/em)