Tag Archives: KPK

ISS Case Study of KPK: Part 1

The Innovations for Successful Societies program at Princeton University recently published an excellent case study, by Gabrial Kuris, on Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).  It’s a quick and easy read, divided in two chronological parts: 2002-2007, covering the commission’s establishment and initial investigations; and 2007-2011, covering a period of consolidation and, more recently, political attacks.  I particularly like the way he tells the story in the voices of those interviewed, which includes an impressive array of (mostly positive) commissioners, judges, and civil society actors.  The abstract and some quotes from the first part follow (a link to report is at the bottom of the page):


In 2002, under domestic and international pressure to confront corruption after the economic and political collapse of the 32-year Suharto regime, Indonesia established the Corruption Eradication Commission (the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi, or KPK). The new commission had powers so strong that one anti- corruption activist said Indonesian politicians were “inviting a tiger into [their] home” by creating it. Still, the public reacted warily, mindful of past failures and distrustful of the commissioners approved by Parliament. After creating an effective operating structure, the commissioners spent more than a year building capacity by introducing innovative human resources policies, cutting- edge technologies, strong ethical codes and savvy investigative tactics. The commission then launched a series of investigations that netted dozens of high- level officials and politicians, with a 100% conviction rate. By the end of 2007, the KPK was standing on a stable foundation, buttressed by solid public support.


A study of newspaper records from the 1950s through the early 1990s led Sunaryadi to conclude that public interest in corruption was “not significant” during that period of economic growth, insurrection and autocracy. (p. 3)

Gregory Churchill, an American legal adviser involved in Indonesian judicial reforms, described the commission as a reform long desired by Indonesians but ultimately enabled by foreign pressure. Describing the IMF loans’ letters of intent, Churchill said, “If you dig deep, you find that the ideas in those letters come from Indonesian reformers. These were ideas that had been in the works, in their desk drawers, waiting for reform. The KPK was one of them.” (p. 4)

Danang Widoyoko, chairman of the nonprofit Indonesia Corruption Watch, said, “Indonesia has had anti- corruption agencies in the past, but most of them failed because of a lack of resources, a lack of authority. (p. 4)

The committee settled on Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) as the primary model for the planned KPK and hired as a consultant Bertrand de Speville, a retired ICAC commissioner. “The KPK is styled quite closely after Hong Kong,” Sunaryadi said. (p. 5)

The draft law gave the KPK stronger powers than the ICAC and most peer agencies worldwide. (p. 5)

The law created an organizational hierarchy that was unusually flat and simple for an Indonesian agency. (p. 6)

KPK agents could make arrests, conduct searches and seizures, investigate and freeze assets, ban suspects from foreign travel, and compel cooperation from any other government agency . Most controversially , they could intercept telecommunications without prior judicial approval. “In the law, it’s only one sentence,” said Sunaryadi. “Nobody knew one sentence would be so powerful.” (p.7)

As an institutional check on the KPK’s power, the law required the commission to report annually to the president, Parliament and the state auditor … Parliament also controlled the KPK’s budget. Parliament confirmed KPK commissioners from a pool of 10 nominated by the president based on the work of a selection committee under the justice ministry … Once confirmed, commissioners served four-year terms without any possibility of impeachment or removal unless subject to a criminal charge.  (pp. 7-8)

The commissioners unanimously adopted a strategy to focus on building internal capacity before taking on cases. “The first step was capacity building,” Ruki said, “to prepare the infrastructure, the systems and the supporting facility . ” The downside to this strategy was that to the expectant public it looked like the KPK was dragging its feet. (p. 8)

The KPK received “very high international support,” according to KPK adviser Nugroho, who managed foreign assistance to the commission. (p. 9)

As a test case, Sunaryadi asked a judge of the South Jakarta regional district court to let him record a trial in early 2004. Sunaryadi said the court “used to be called ‘the Cemetery of the Attorney General’ because [prosecutors] lost every big corruption case.” Surprising the prosecutors, the judge not only agreed but also told Sunaryadi to start his recording with a trial only five days away. (p. 9)

“The most difficult thing was to convince the Ministry of Administrative Reform,” recalled Sunaryadi. “Unfortunately, most people inside that ministry were not reform minded…” (p. 10)

He said he visited the head of MenPAN at home and told him, “You have to choose. You become our supporter or our enemy. … I know you have fictitious expenditures. … Unless you agree to this government regulation, I will investigate.” (p. 10)

Kemala said she tried to weed out applicants who appeared to be motivated mainly by financial considerations … The process was highly selective. In the system’s first year, KPK received 12,000 applications for 100 positions. By 2010, the applicant pool neared 45,000. (p. 11)

Kemala said one accepted applicant said to her, “Thank you ma’am. Now I have moved to an institution where I don’t have to be corrupt.” (p. 11)

[T]he KPK compensated staff for work expenses “at cost,” meaning that necessary expenses were reimbursable. Other agencies used a lump-sum system that disbursed fixed amounts per case, a policy that encouraged staff to minimize travel, dispose of cases quickly and pocket the unused cash. (p. 12)

The KPK developed rigorous codes of ethics for commissioners as well as staff, relying heavily on staff input. (p. 13)

Sunaryadi examined Indonesian corruption prosecutions and found that about 85% were based on the nebulous crime of “creating financial loss to the state.” (p. 14)

“The hardest thing was to meet public expectations [that were] increasing every day,” Ruki said. “When I caught a governor, they said, ‘You have never caught a general.’ When I caught a general, they said, ‘You never caught a minister.’ When I caught a minister: ‘What about the president?’” (p. 16)

“Before the KPK, we were feeding 60 corruption cases to the attorney general’s office, and no cases were followed up,” said Danang Widoyoko of Indonesia Corruption Watch. “We send a report to the KPK, and the KPK will follow up.” (p. 16)

As a former legislator and senior police officer, Ruki was a key mediator. “I had good relations with the legislators personally , ” he said. “I also knew personally the heads of each of the political parties, so I could communicate with them in a good way, more or less. … I had a close connection with the chief of police, attorney general and Supreme Court chief. I could approach them personally. This is the Indonesian way.” (p. 18)

According to Hardjapemekas, the commissioners had hoped to “trigger police and prosecutors to do a better job, and the executive branch of state as a whole to reform themselves to be more productive.” Hardjapemekas conceded that the strategy had failed to produce immediate change. (p. 19)

Commissioner Amien Sunaryadi said he learned at least six lessons from his experience in building the Corruption Eradication Commission. … study international best practices … [set] strong administrative policies in the areas of human resources management, financial management, information technology and operations … combating and preventing corruption must proceed in tandem … “stick to the mission” … importance of third- party assistance … identify when momentum emerges” in order to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. (p. 19)

As the KPK’s first commissioners stepped down in December 2007, they had shown the benefits of their strong powers and careful strategy of capacity building. (p. 20)

The report is available from ISS’s website here: “Inviting a Tiger into Your Home”: Indonesia Creates an Anti-Corruption Commission with Teeth: 2002-2007.


Ad Hoc Judges Connection to Grobogan

Kompas.com reports that one of the judges caught accepting bribes–see here–had previously competed to win PDIP backing to run in the Bupati elections with M Yaeni.  It’s likely that, Heru Kusbandono, who was an ad hoc judge at the Corruption Court in Pontianiak was an intermediary between the suspect and the judges from the Corruption Court in Semarang.

Pada Tahun 2010, HK pernah mengikuti penjaringan calon wakil bupati Grobogan dari PDI Perjuangan. Ketua DPRD Grobogan M Yaeni juga mendaftarkan diri sebagai balon wabup. HM gagal dalam penjaringan itu. Ketika menjabat sebagai hakim ad hoc Pengadilan Tipikor Pontianak, tidak ada perkara korupsi yang menonjol yang diperiksa dan diputus oleh HK.

Separately, Tempo.co, citing data from KP2KKN, reported that Heru Kusbandono was previously a defence lawyer for corruption suspects:

ICW dan KP2KKN menyebutkan Heru pernah bertindak sebagai pembela dalam beberapa kasus korupsi, yaitu:

1. Pada 2009 menjadi pembela dalam perkara dugaan korupsi proyek pengadaan mesin tahun 2006. Dua terdakwa yang ia bela adalah Dosen Politeknik Negeri Semarang (Polines) Joko Triwardoyo dan alumnus Polines Deny Kriswanto dan diadili di Pengadilan Negeri Semarang pada 2009.

2. Pembela dalam perkara dugaan korupsi pengadaan kartu tanda penduduk (KTP) dan kartu keluarga (KK) di Grobogan tahun anggaran 2004 senilai Rp 1,7 miliar. Kasus tersebut diadili di Pengadilan Negeri Purwodadi. Terdakwa dalam perkara itu, meliputi tiga pejabat di lingkungan Pemkab Grobogan, yakni Soedjono, Syahiro, dan Wisnu. Selain itu Direktur PT Karya Inti Karindo Semarang, H Soehadi juga turut menjadi terdakwa.

3. Pembela dalam perkara dugaan korupsi dana kemahasiswaan IKIP Veteran sebesar Rp 1,2 miliar. Terdakwa dalam kasus tersebut adalah mantan rektor dan pembantu rektor II IKIP Veteran Semarang, JFM Suwandi dan Etty Hermiwati. Perkara diadili di Pengadilan Negeri Semarang dan mendapat vonis bebas.

Selain itu, Heru juga pernah menjadi kuasa hukum Partai Karya peduli Bangsa (PKPB), Partai Keadilan dan Persatuan Indonesia (PKPI) dan Partai Persatuan Daerah (PPD) dalam gugatan melawan KPU Kota Semarang di Mahkamah Konstitusi. Saat itu KPU Semarang dinilai tak profesional dan melanggar undang-undang yang menyebabkan proses tahapan Pemilihan Wali Kota Semarang cacat hukum.

Ia pun menjadi kuasa hukum pasangan calon bupati dan wakil bupati Grobogan, Agus Supriyanto-M Nurwibowo. Mereka menggugat Komisi Pemilihan Umum Daerah (KPUD) Grobogan ke Mahkamah Konstitusi atas perkara gugatan terhadap penetapan hasil pemilihan kepala daerah Grobogan 2006.

Tak hanya menjadi kuasa hukum, Heru juga pernah mengikuti penjaringan calon Wakil Bupati Grobogan dari Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan pada 2010. Saat itu Ketua DPRD Grobogan M. Yaeni juga mengikuti penjaringan, namun langkah Heru Kandas.

Kompas.com article available here: Hakim HK Pernah Daftar Jadi Wabup Grobogan.

Tempo.co article available here: Sebelum Jadi Hakim Tipikor, Heru Kusbandono Pembela Kasus Korupsi.

As usual, h/t the excellent KP2KKN media archive here.

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Ad Hoc Judges from Semarang Corruption Court Caught Accepting Bribes

Kompas.com and Suara Merdeka reported that KPK caught two ad hoc judges from the Semarang Corruption Court receiving bribes. KPK declined to specify the bribe amounts but indicated it was greater than Rp. 100 million ($9,500).  Suara Merdeka indicated it was reportedly Kartini Marpaung and Heru Priyombodo.

Kompas article here: KPK Tangkap 2 Hakim Tipikor di Semarang.

Suara Merdeka article here: Hakim Ad Hoc Tipikor Semarang Tertangkap Tangan.


In another article Tempo.co noted the following:

  • The bribe amount was Rp. 150 million (about $14,500).
  • The briber was Sri Dartuti, the younger sibling (adik) of the DPRD Head in Grobangan district, M Yaeni.
  • The bribe was provided in relation to case before the court relating corruption of Rp. 1.9 billion ($200,000) in the purchase of ambulances.
  • Various PDIP politicians implicated in the case have already benefited from favourable treatment in relation to the case.

Update 2:

M Yaeni was sentenced to two and half years prison on 27 August 2012.  Ironically, the controversial Judge Lilik presided over the case.  See: Ketua DPRD Grobogan Divonis 2 Tahun 5 Bulan.

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Corruption monitoring institutions in action, or not

This week’s Reformasi Weekly Review highlights, in relation to a new KPK investigation of corruption in the procurement of police driving simulators, the ineffectiveness of internal monitoring institutions at the Police:

Bambang [who couriered the kick-backs and a key witness in the investigation] also told Tempo that other payments flowed to other officers, including: Rp15 billion to the Traffic Police Primary Cooperative (Primkoppol), commanded by mid-ranking officer, Dep Maj Com (Ajun Komisaris Besar) Teddy Rusmawan; and Rp. 1.7 billion [~$170,000] to officials in the police Oversight Inspectorate (the unit designated with preventing corruption), including a Rp. 700 million [~$70,000] transfer to a team within the unit, and Rp. 1 billion [~$100,000] in cash to the commanding officer, a three-star general, Com Gen Fajar Prihantono. Sukotjo supported his claims by showing Tempo bank transfer statements and Blackberry Messenger conversations.

Unsurprisingly then…

For their part, police officials have asserted that an internal police investigation into the matter determined that no kickbacks occurred. A police spokesperson, Maj Com Agus Rianto, said that, “We did an investigation some time ago. The result was that there was no provision of money.”

The excellent Reformasi Weekly Review is available here: www.reformasi.info.

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Hambalang Investigation Upgraded

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) this week upgraded the corruption case involving corruption in the construction of the $265 million Hambalang Sports Facility in Bogor from a pre-investigation (penyelidikan) to an investigation (penyidikan).  The Reformasi Weekly Review highlights the implications of KPK’s methodical investigation strategy for the Democratic Party, including the Party Chairperson, Anas Urbaningrum, and the Minister of Sports, Andi Mallarangeng:

[T]he decision to upgrade the case status to ‘advanced investigation’ virtually ensures a court trial. In turn, it now seems likely that court revelations will eventually affect the chair of President Yudhoyono’s Partai Demokrat, Anas Urbaningrum, whose wife owned shares in an obscure firm that received contracts in the project. Another figure whom the case will likely affect is the president’s former domestic spokesperson, State Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng.

However, the KPK intends to apply its customary approach, which is to methodically pursue the conviction of lower-level figures first, using facts revealed in their trials as grounds for subsequently convicting higher-level actors. The KPK’s approach will likely require months of litigation before Urbaningrum might finally become a suspect.

It certainly seems expensive for what is a relatively simple set of buildings and athletic facilities.  For example, compare the pictures below of the London Olympic Stadium, which is estimated to have cost $880 million, with the Hambalang facility:

The case also highlights the importance of the Financial Transaction Analysis Center (PPATK) and its role in tracking financial flows relating to the project.

The website of the Reformasi Weekly Review: www.reformasi.info.

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KPK fundraising via social media networks

Interesting initiative from KPK–fund-raising via social media networks.  Reformasi reports:

Parliamentarians initially resisted a budget request from the Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) for additional office space, and this prompted a voluntary fund‑raising effort for the KPK via social media.  The fanfare may compel parliamentarians to relent and accede to the KPK request, which will enable the commission to expand.  The episode shows that the KPK – fortified by its track record and bolstered by social networks – constitutes a potent political force.

As international donor funds decline, national and local civil society groups need to change their fund-raising models.  Social media could provide the infrastructure for this.  Imagine, for example, if everyone who “liked” ICW’s facebook profile could also choose to have a few thousand rupiah deducted from their debit cards each month.  Not only would it provide a sustainable and politically diffuse source of income, it would also provide an interesting accountability mechanisms.  This could be negative and positive.  Certain high-profile activities (organizations) are more likely to receive “likes” and therefore funds; whereas less exciting but important activities–like legal and data analysis–are less likely to draw “likes”.  Ideally the exciting stuff would cross-subsidize the boring stuff within an organization.  But it could be that organizations specialise (in the exciting stuff) and the boring (but important stuff) gets left behind.  This requires discerning “likers”, I guess.

Reformasi Weekly Newsletter available here: www.reformasi.info

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KPK Requests Soemarmo Case Transfer

Suara Merdeka provides more background on Komisi III’s intervention and MA’s decision to move the Soemarmo case from Semarang to Jakarta:

Komisi III DPR menemui Kepala Kejaksaan Negeri dan Wakil Ketua Pengadilan Negeri (PN) Semarang untuk mengetahui alasan pemindahan sidang atas terdakwa Wali Kota Semarang Soemarmo HS dan Ketua DPRD Jateng Murdoko SH.

Pertemuan dilakukan Kamis (31/5) lalu di Mapolda Jateng. Soemarmo dan Murdoko akan disidangkan di Jakarta. Padahal keduanya disangka melakukan korupsi di Semarang. Sidang atas sebuah perkara selama ini selalu dilakukan di mana peristiwa tersebut terjadi atau sesuai dengan locus delicti-nya.

Namun dalam kasus Soemarmo dan Murdoko, Mahkamah Agung memenuhi permintaan Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) agar memindahkan lokasi sidang ke Jakarta. Alasan KPK —yang disetujui MA— adalah adanya kekhawatiran intervensi dalam sidang tersebut jika tetap dilakukan di daerah.

Article here: PN Semarang Tersinggung.

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KP2KKN Requests KPK Investigate Rembang Bupati

KP2KKN was reported to publicly request that KPK take over the investigation of current Rembang Regent, Moch Salim (Democrat)–for background see here, here and here.  The case was originally reported to KPK but was delegated to the Regional Police.  Little progress has been made in the last few years. The case is probably not sufficiently important for KPK and the suspect seems to have protection from Jakarta.  The case could proceed when the district head leaves office in 2015.

“Kasus Bupati Rembang ini awalnya ditangani oleh KPK, akan tetapi kemudian dilimpahkan ke Polda Jateng pada tahun 2010,” kata Koordinator Divisi Monitoring Kinerja Aparat Penegak Hukum KP2KKN Jateng Eko Haryanto di Semarang, Jumat.

Link to Antara Jateng article: KPK Diminta Tangani Dugaan Korupsi Bupati Rembang, via KP2KKN’s media blog here.  See also:

BeritaSatu.comKP2KKN Minta KPK Tangani Kasus Bupati Rembang.

detikNews: Mangkrak 2 Tahun, Dugaan Korupsi Bupati Rembang akan Dilaporkan ke KPK.

Solo PosKORUPSI REMBANG: KPK Diminta Ambil Alih Kasus Korupsi Bupati Rembang.

Korupsi.comKPK Didesak Ambil Alih Kasus-Kasus di Rembang.

Suara MerdekaDua Tahun Jadi Tersangka, Salim Belum Tersentuh.

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Corruption Code Words

Bambang Widjojanto, from KPK, was quoted in the newspaper in April explaining that corruption methods are becoming increasingly sophisticated and that new vocabulary has developed.

Dalam kosa kata, muncul kota kata yang menyesatkan tindakan korupsi. Misalnya, penggunaan kata apel washington, apel malang, kilo, dan beberapa kata lain. “Penyertaan dengan digunakannya pihak ketiga untuk menyesatkan dari aktor utama korupsi,” tambah Bambang.

From Kompas.com: Modus Operandi Korupsi Berkembang.

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Suspected Mark Up of 6 Sukhoi Fighter Jets

Interesting to see whether this case goes anywhere. PDIP lawmaker and Deputy Chair of Commission I for Defence, Tubagus Hasanuddin, has suggested that 6 Sukhoi fighter jets purchased in 2010 may have been marked up to the tune of $50 million.  These quotes from Kompas.com (here):

Vice Chairman of the House of Representatives Commission I, Tubagus Hasanuddin, suspects prices in the government’s procurement of six aircraft types Sukhoi SU-30 MK2 were inflated or marked up.

Tubagus explained that at the end of 2010 the Parliament approved the purchase of six Sukhoi aircraft worth 470 million U.S. dollars from the Russian government. The Russian government, he said, provided state credit of 1 billion U.S. dollars.  […]

Tubagus added, based on the explanation of Rosoboron [the Russian defence export agency], the price of Sukhoi SU-30 MK2 per July 2011 was about $60-70 million per unit. Whereas the price of Sukhoi previously purchased was only $55 million per unit.

If one uses the highest price of 70 [million] dollars, he said, the maximum price is only $420 million for the six units. “The question is why did we have to use PT X as a broker?  Though there are Russian representative office in Jakarta. Why is there a price difference of up to 50 million dollars?” Said Tubagus.

Wakil Ketua Komisi I Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Tubagus Hasanuddin menduga ada penggelembungan harga atau mark up dalam pengadaan enam pesawat tempur jenis Sukhoi SU-30 MK2 oleh pemerintah.

Tubagus menjelaskan, akhir 2010 DPR menyetujui pembelian enam pesawat Sukhoi itu seharga 470 juta dollar AS melalui kerja sama dengan pemerintah Rusia. Pemerintah Rusia, kata dia, menyediakan state credit sebesar 1 miliar dollar AS.  […]

Tubagus menambahkan, berdasarkan penjelasan pihak Rosoboron, harga Sukhoi SU 30-MK2 per Juli 2011 sekitar 60-70 juta dollar AS per unit. Harga Sukhoi yang dibeli sebelumnya hanya 55 juta dollar AS per unit.

Jika memakai harga tertinggi yakni 70 dollar AS, kata dia, maksimal harga hanya 420 juta dollar AS untuk enam unit. “Pertanyaannya mengapa harus menggunakan PT X sebagai broker? Padahal ada perwakilan Rusia di Jakarta. Mengapa ada perbedaan harga sampai 50 juta dollar AS?” kata Tubagus.

 He has suggested that KPK should investigate.  I wonder if they dare?
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