Thursday, 13 September, 2012 | 20:02 WIB
Going Against Advice from the Top Brass
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:A quiet home on Jalan Sumber Asih in the Babakan Ciparay region of Bandung suddenly came alive a couple of weeks ago. It was a Thursday, at about 2.30 pm, when eight investigators from the National Police Detectives arrived at the residence of the in-laws of Soekotjo S. Bambang, a suspect in a high-profile driving simulator graft scandal. The Antigraft Commission (KPK) has named former traffic police chief Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo in this case which involves the procurement of driving simulators. Accompanied by five officers from the Babakan Ciparay police subprecinct, the eight investigators brought with them a search warrant.
As they entered the living room, the investigators were met by one of Soekotjo’s in-laws. The in-law asked that the search not be carried out because Silvia, Soekotjo’s wife, was not at home. Besides, the father-in-law of Soekotjo, who is a director of the simulator project’s subcontractor, Inovasi Teknologi Indonesia, was very ill. “However, the request was denied,” an eyewitness told Tempo. “The investigators said that the inhabitants of the house were all uncooperative.”
The search was carried out exactly at 4 pm. The police scoured through every nook and corner of the two-storey home. A number of documents, mobile phones and laptops were seized. The search ended at 10pm that night. Police left with the evidence seized in two Avanza cars.
Soekotjo’s legal representative Erick S. Paat said that the officers from the National Police Detectives had seized 135 pieces of evidence. One of which was the original receipt for Rp 4 billion received by the Indonesian Traffic Police Headquarters. In the official police report of the goods seized, this particular piece of evidence is recorded as item number nine. The report states that this item is Receipt No. 001/ TTP/ 01/ 11, dated Jan. 13 of last year. The receipt notes that Rp 4 billion had been received from Soekotjo S. Bambang (Inovasi Teknologi Indonesia) as a cash payment for the Traffic Police, as well as two copies of the receipt.
The National Police has recently been moving very quickly to investigate the corruption scandal involving 700 motorcycle driving simulators worth Rp 54.4 billion, and 556 driving simulators for cars worth Rp 142.41 billion.
Almost every day, the police interrogate witnesses in marathon sessions. The police are racing to finish their investigations ahead of those currently conducted by the Corruption Eradication Commission, KPK, which is authorized to investigate the case.
A Tempo source said that even as they were racing against time to file their completed dossiers on the case with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), police investigations were not going too smoothly. “The scenario to ensure that all testimonies of witnesses must be in line with one another is going down badly,” said the source. What the source was referring to is the fact that efforts by detectives to persuade a number of suspects to remain silent in a reported cover-up that could potentially incriminate high-ranking police officials are not going as planned. Quite the contrary. The low-level suspects are refusing to tow the line because they fear that in the end, they would be ones bearing the brunt of the scandal.
Among them is Sr. Adj. Comr. Teddy Rusmawan, who oversaw the procurement project. Teddy’s family has reportedly refused to use the legal team appointed for him by the police. Both Teddy’s wife and his parents have insisted on picking their own lawyer for the case. Dwi Ria Latifa is a lawyer who was once a legislator at the House of Representatives. The family’s choice has created tensions at the police headquarters.
The source revealed to Tempo that Teddy had once met with Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo, and that the latter had threatened him “not to drag him down in this case.” Teddy is a key witness in the case. He was the person who oversaw the entire procurement project and knows the specifics of how the tender ended up being awarded to Citra Mandiri Metalindo Abadi, a metal manufacturing company.
Teddy is also the chief of the Traffic Police Primary Cooperatives who had also overseen the procurement project for materials used in producing car registration plates, valued at Rp 702.5 billion, in 2011. In recent times, all police projects linked to procurement of materials for producing car registration plates were awarded to Budi Susanto, the managing director of Citra Mandiri Metalindo Abadi. Like Djoko, Budi is also a suspect in the simulator corruption case.
Dwi Ria Latifa has refused to comment on the contents of the case. Hotman Sitompul who heads Djoko Susilo’s legal team has denied allegations that his client had once threatened Teddy Rusmawan. “That is completely untrue. We were present at all interrogation sessions at the National Police Detectives,” he asserted.
Indications that blame would be passed pass on to lower-ranking officers was strengthened during the pretrial hearings involving the Indonesian Anti-Corruption Society, at the South Jakarta District Court. Police argued in court that the signatures of Djoko Susilo had been forged by Comr. Legimo, a treasurer at the Indonesian Traffic Police Headquarters. In the dossiers it was pointed out that Djoko’s signatures had been forged to allow for the funds to be disbursed to pay Citra Mandiri for work it had done. When in fact, funds should not have been disbursed as yet because winners of the tender had not been announced.
Setri Yasra, Widiarsi Agustina, Ayu Prima Sandi (Jakarta), Erick P. Hardi (Bandung)