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 ‘Mentally Unstable’ Chief Detective Waseso Must Go, Says Former Muhammadiyah Head

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BerichtOnderwerp: ‘Mentally Unstable’ Chief Detective Waseso Must Go, Says Former Muhammadiyah Head   do 16 jul 2015 - 10:58

The Jakarta Globe, Jul 15, 2015

Jakarta. A war of words has broken out between the Indonesian police force and the country’s second-biggest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, over the central role of a controversial police general in an ongoing campaign to undermine the national antigraft commission.

Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso, the National Police’s chief of detectives, lashed out on Tuesday at calls by Ahmad “Buya” Syafii Maarif, the highly regarded former chairman of the 30-million-strong Muhammadiyah, for him to be fired over his blatant targeting of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and its members.

“What’s his capacity [to make that call]?” Waseso told reporters at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta. “There’s no need for him to comment or interfere in law enforcement matters when he doesn’t even understand law enforcement. He’s not stupid, but he must understand what’s good law enforcement and what’s bad law enforcement.”

Waseso, a self-professed sycophant to deputy police chief Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan, a one-time corruption suspect who won a severely flawed court ruling that threw out the charges against him before he was even indicted, was responding to Buya’s statement on Monday demanding that President Joko Widodo fire the chief detective.

Waseso’s office has orchestrated a string of transparently trumped-up charges against KPK officials since the antigraft commission in January named Budi a graft suspect. In its latest move to blatantly undermine the KPK, the detectives’ unit last week charged two Judicial Commission members with defamation after they criticized Sarpin Rizaldi, the judge who handed down the ruling in favor of Budi.

Mentally unstable

Buya, speaking at a gathering with Joko at the KPK headquarters to break the fast, said it was ridiculous that the police would see fit to charge members of a government-mandated watchdog for doing their jobs.

“That’s the sign of an official [Waseso] who lacks confidence. He’s mentally unstable if he can so easily name people as suspects,” the famously plainspoken Buya said. “I hope the nation no longer has to be led by someone as erratic as this.”

He called on Joko to immediately order the dismissal of Waseso from his post. “How hard could it be? Just ask [police chief Badrodin] Haiti to replace him,” Buya said.

The former Muhammadiyah chief has made the call on several occasions since the Budi fiasco broke in January.

“This chief of detectives doesn’t understand detective work,” he told Vice President Jusuf Kalla during a meeting in March. “He doesn’t have the least bit of competence or professionalism.”

The current Muhammadiyah leadership has thrown its support behind Buya, with Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, the chairman of its hugely influential youth wing, Pemuda Muhammadiyah, echoing the demand that Waseso be fired.

“[Waseso’s] actions are an insult to Muhammadiyah followers,” he said on Wednesday. “He must be fired because since becoming the chief of detectives, he has criminalized anticorruption activists and law enforcement officers who are trying to fight corruption.”

Plot to undermine KPK

Waseso claims his office is simply carrying out its duty of following up on the complaint filed by Sarpin against Judicial Commission chairman Suparman Marzuki and commissioner Taufiqurahman Sauri. He did not say why it rather conveniently named them suspects within days of the commission recommending to the Supreme Court that Sarpin be suspended for six months for throwing out the charges against Budi.

The ruling was panned by legal scholars, including from the Judicial Commission, who unanimously agreed that it went against the substance of the Criminal Code Procedures (KUHAP) and the scope of a pretrial hearing.

Waseso’s office has also been universally denounced for pursuing criminal charges against KPK chairman Abraham Samad, deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto and investigator Novel Baswedan – all based on cold cases dating back up to a decade and seen as a retaliation for the KPK’s decision to charge Budi with bribery and money laundering in connection with undeclared millions of dollars in his personal bank accounts.

The investigative news magazine Tempo last week published an explosive report alleging a complex and high-level political plot to criminalize the KPK officials, said to be masterminded by Hasto Kristiyanto, the deputy secretary general of the president’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

The plot, said to involve the police, was apparently hatched to get even with the KPK, in particular Abraham, for nixing Budi’s chances of becoming the country’s next police chief.

Budi is known to be close to PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, Joko’s political patron, having served as her security aide during her presidency.

Abraham had agitated last year to launch an investigation into Megawati for writing off billions of dollars in government bailout funds spirited away overseas following the 1997-98 financial crisis, in what would have been the biggest corruption investigation in the country’s history had it proceeded.

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