Friday, December 30, 2016

Where should this case be tried?

Tempo, an Indonesian news outlet, reports here on a jurisdictional question arising from a sting operation that revealed large-scale corruption in the Maritime Security Agency. One possibility is to have military and civilian authorities conduct a joint investigation. Excerpt:
This joint investigation team would examine the facts and proposes which active military personnel will be tried in civil courts alongside civilian suspects, rather than in a military court. The reason is very clear: the alleged corruption was against the public interest, not the interests of the military. This type of joint trial was organized by the Attorney General and the TNI [Indonesian military] following the corruption case related to the procurement of Mi-17 helicopters that caused losses to the state totaling Rp29 billion. 
If the TNI insists the case must be heard in a military court, there are a number of conditions. One is that the defense minister with the agreement of the justice and human rights minister decides that the case should be heard by a military court. Without this approval, the KPK [Corruption Eradication Commission] should not hand the case over to the military court. 
So far, cases of corruption within the TNI seem to have escaped legal action, or have simply been covered up. More than a few cases have ground to a halt because of lack of evidence. For example, this happened when the Attorney General's office and the TNI established a joint team to investigate alleged corruption involving senior TNI officers. The apparent involvement of these personnel must not be decided by a military court. If this happened, it would not only be strange, it would also make it more difficult for the KPK to uncover all the facts in this bribery scandal.

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