KKN reaches Indonesia’s Constitutional Court?

While observers often complain about corruption and nepotism within Indonesia’s judiciary, they usually allow that the Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) has been an exception to this rule. Now, allegations have arisen that one justice’s daughter and brother-in-law accepted bribes from a candidate in an election dispute before the court. The justice in question, Arsyad Sanusi, has just announced his retirement, which he claims is due to the fact that he will reach retirement age of 67 early next year. However, The Jakarta Post points out that he had earlier said he would “resign,” but this would have prevented him from receiving his pension, so he later corrected it to “retire.” Justice Arsyad denies all accusations of wrongdoing and has complained that his reputation has already suffered in the court of public opinion. If the accusations are true, it could cast a shadow on the Constitutional Court’s integrity. However, there was this odd scruple of honesty from one of the clerks: according to his attorney, a court clerk who had allegedly received Rp 35 million from the candidate decided to return the money when the court ruled against the candidate anyways. In other words, the candidate received a refund for his bribe. Hopefully this suggests that money doesn’t have the same power and influence in the halls of Indonesia’s Mahkamah Konstitusi.

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