TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Although his name drew controversy due to his problematic track record, the ex-aide to former Vice President Boediono received a unanimous vote from House of Representatives (DPR) law commission members to lead the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). One day before the DPR selected five commissioners, the KPK held a press conference on Firli Bahuri’s ethical violation during his time as KPK’s prosecution deputy.
The South Sumatra Police chief dismissed the accusation when a number of DPR members asked about the ethical violation during his fit-and-proper test. Our journalists Linda Trianita and Riky Ferdianto again interviewed Firli to discuss the allegations leveled against him after his fit-and-proper test at the DPR law commission on the night of Thursday, September 12.
The KPK held a press conference and stated that you violated the ethical code while you were KPK enforcement deputy, among others, by meeting with West Nusa Tenggara Governor Muhammad Zainul Majdi aka Tuan Guru Bajang, who was being investigated by the KPK in the Newmont divestment case.
I did meet with TGB on May 13, 2018. I arrived at the tennis court at 6:30 a.m. because I had been invited by the danrem (military commander) long before. After two sets, at 9:30, TGB suddenly came. Danrem said, “Take a picture first, Bang.” So we took a picture. The picture was uploaded to social media. I’m sorry, is it a mistake to meet someone on a tennis court? Article 36 of the KPK law mentions that it is forbidden to arrange contact with a person, a suspect or other parties. When I met with TGB, he was not yet a suspect. And to this day he is not yet a suspect.
According to the KPK, you met with TGB more than once.
I indeed answered an invitation by the Al-Mansyuriah Islamic Boarding School, owned by Tuan Guru Tajudin. They took issue with that. I met with TGB there and (we) did not speak at all. The Newmont divestment was already in the preliminary hearing stage on August 6, 2018, expose for the leadership. When the five leaders were present, I said, I’m present in this expose, I know TGB, but it’s not a conflict of interest.
You were once investigated by the internal monitoring division because of the meetings with TGB.
The meetings with TGB were already clarified with the leadership. All five were present. This was during a meeting on March 19, at 5pm with the five leaders. I was also asked for information by the internal monitoring division on December 21, 2018. During the meeting, not one leader said I was in violation. I was warned, yes.
You are receiving a significant rejection from KPK’s internal circle.
I consider it their attention and love for me. There is no friction. Everything is under one command. I am part of the KPK and the KPK is a part of me. If I may say so, the KPK is in my heart and my heart is in the KPK.
How will you manage the resistance of the KPK’s internal circle once you lead the institution?
No one can be successful without others.
Read the full interview in Tempo English Magazine