After Firli Bahuri Becomes A Suspect, Will The KPK Image Be Clean Again?
Firli Bahuri entered his car after fulfilling the summons of the KPK Supervisory Board (Dewas) at the KPK Anti-Corruption Education Center Building (ACLC), Jakarta, Monday (20/11/2023). (Between/M Risyal Hidayat/tom/aa)

JAKARTA The lobbying of Chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Firli Bahuri officially ended after he was named a suspect by the Polda Metro Jaya, Wednesday (23/11/2023).

Firli was named a suspect in the alleged extortion case against former Syahrul Yasin Limpo (SYL) while still serving as Minister of Agriculture (Mentan).

"We have carried out a case title with the results of finding sufficient evidence to determine Brother FB as Chairman of the Indonesian KPK as a suspect," said Director of Special Criminal Investigation at the Metro Jaya Police, Senior Commissioner Ade Safri Simanjuntak during a press conference at his office, Wednesday (11/22/2023).

After Firli's determination as clear, the public then waited for the KPK's clean-up steps and how the KPK Supervisory Board acted to handle Firli's case.

Rumors about Firli Bahuri's alleged extortion of SYL have been smelled since the two photos circulated after playing badminton. Firli repeatedly denied that he had committed extortion, but after undergoing examination as a witness, Polda Metro Jaya finally declared his status as a suspect.

Criminal law observer Masykur Isnan appreciated the steps taken by the National Police which finally named Firli as a suspect, after there had been a tug of war for the last two months. But on the one hand, this is a test for the KPK itself as a state institution tasked with eradicating corruption in Indonesia.

"Many things can be noted. First, in the context of KPK institutions this is good news, the KPK must indeed be filled by parties who have integrity and accountability. Don't let the KPK be filled by the opposite people," said Isnan during a conversation with VOI.

The KPK must also immediately optimize its functions to be more present to the community. Benalu-benalu, which is considered to be able to hinder the performance of the KPK, must be eliminated more quickly," Isnan added.

With Firli's current status as a suspect, Isnan hopes to restore the image of the anti-corruption commission, even though he realizes it's not an easy matter.

"I hope this can also restore the image of the KPK in public spaces. Because as we know, Firli has a negative record in society. The KPK in its current position should limit Firli's space so that there is no conflict of interest," said Isnan.

Before the alleged case of Firli Bahuri's extortion of Syahrul Yasin Limpo surfaced, Firli's name often drew controversy. The KPK under Firli's leadership was even touted as the worst era in the history of the institution's establishment.

In November 2022, Firli met with corruption suspect Lukas Enembe, who was then a suspect in bribery and gratification. Lukas Enembe was also charged with alleged money laundering (TPPU).

Firli is strongly suspected of violating Article 36 of the KPK Law, which explicitly prohibits KPK leaders from dealing with corruption suspects handled by the KPK.

Firli's next controversy is showing a hedonism lifestyle. On September 24, 2020, he was found guilty of violating the code of ethics and code of conduct for using helicopters for personal gain.

At that time, Firli used a helicopter on the way from Palembang-Baturaja, Baturaja-Palembang and Palembang-Jakarta. The trip cost Rp28 million.

The pressure for Firli Bahuri to place his position as Chairman of the KPK is getting heavier after he was named a suspect, including from Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW). ICW Coordinator Agus Sunaryanto asked Firli Bahuri to resign from the position of Chairman of the KPK before transferring the case to court.

"It is better to resign, because if it has been transferred to the court, in accordance with the KPK Law, it will stop completely," Agus Sunaryanto told Tempo, Thursday (23/11).

Meanwhile, Isnan assessed that Firli would show a statesman's attitude if he resigned. Because the issue of public trust in him is getting bigger after the extortion case against SYL.

But on the other hand, Isnan also hopes that the KPK Supervisory Board (Dewas) will move quickly in handling this case. With various evidences that have been revealed by Polda Metro Jaya regarding the alleged extortion, Firli deserves to be dismissed from his position.

"But internally, I hope he is fired, because thus the function of the KPK Council is more accelerated. Don't let previous cases happen when KPK officials watched MotoGP in Lombok some time ago," Isnan explained.

Dirreskrimsus Polda Metro Jaya Kombes Pol Ade Safri Simanjuntak (white shirt) together with the Head of Public Relations of the Polda Metro Jaya Kombes Pol Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko when met at Polda Metro Jaya, Wednesday (22/11/2023). (Between/Risky Syukur)

Dewas must be more present in this process, because Firli's status is clear. The KPK is being tested institutionally, especially the KPK Council," Isnan concluded.

For information, the KPK official in question is Lili Pintauli. She was involved in an ethical case in 2022, while still serving as Deputy Chair of the KPK. At that time, Lili took advantage of her position to 'embezzle' tickets to watch MotoGP Mandalika and hotel facilities from PT Pertamina (Persero).

According to a number of sources, Lili asked for accommodation and tickets for 11 people, namely her husband, her two children, one child's friend, two aides, three bodyguards, and one prosecutor's employee named Dody W Leonard Silalahi.

However, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Council suspended or canceled the trial of the verdict against Lili's alleged ethical violation because she resigned from the anti-corruption agency. At that time, ICW assessed that the KPK Council had participated in protecting code of ethics violators such as Lili Pintauli Siregar.

Back in the Firli Bahuri case, before being named a suspect, the KPK Council said that the legal process against the KPK chairman at Polda Metro would not affect the course of the code of ethics examination.

"Yes, no. There is a crime, here is ethics," said member of the KPK Council Albertina HO at the ACLC KPK Building, South Jakarta, Monday (20/11).

"We are ethically still running. Whether the suspect is determined or not, the ethics will continue until it is finished," he said, citing Antara.

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