House speaker Setya Novanto’s lawyers suddenly resign shortly before start of his corruption trial
Coconuts Jakarta Dec. 8, 2017
Indonesia’s House Speaker Setya Novanto has dodged several corruption charges in the past, but it’s starting to look like his luck has run out as he’s set to soon face trial for corruption without two of his biggest legal guns.
Setya was charged by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for his alleged involvement in the massive e-KTP (electronic ID cards) graft case.
After so much drama, (including his being hospitalized, beating the KPK’s first charge, disappearing, getting in a car crash and getting hospitalized again until his eventual detainment by the KPK) things are looking particularly bad for the Golkar party chairman now that Otto Hasibuan and Fredrich “I-spend-5-billion-rupiah-when-I-go-on-holiday” Yunadi — two of the most high profile lawyers in Indonesia — have both announced that they have officially resigned as Setya’s legal representatives.
The first to announce his resignation was Otto, who only joined Setya’s legal team in late November. Otto was rather cryptic about the reason behind his decision, elaborating no further than a supposed differences in opinion with Novanto over how best to mount his defense.
“If there’s no clear agreement on how to approach a case, then that could be problematic for both me and him,” Otto said today, as quoted by Detik.
Otto’s announcement was then followed by Fredrich’s, which is more surprising because he has been a loud and staunch defender of Setya (often offending logic in the process), to the point that he threatened to sue anybody who made fun of Setya for defamation (including former Constitutional Court Judge Mahfud MD).
“It’s done, I informed (Setya Novanto) verbally yesterday,” Fredrich told reporters, as quoted by CNN Indonesia today.
Setya’s remaining legal team submitted a pretrial motion to have their client’s suspect status rescinded on procedural grounds (he successfully used a similar motion to get his first corruption suspect status nullified).
However, they are in a race against time to pressure the pretrial judge to come up with a decision by Tuesday, as the opening session for Setya’s trial in the Corruption Court begins on Wednesday, by which time any pretrial motion would be legally void.