Suspects for life?

A few months ago, I mentioned that Indonesia’s Attorney General dropped what many believed were fraudulent charges against two KPK deputies, Bibit and Chandra. Surprisingly, some of their supporters wanted the two men to fight it out in court, believing that only a full trial would full vindicate them. Technically, the government used a Dutch procedure known as a deponering, which suspends the prosecution but still considers the men suspects.

Now, it appears opponents of the KPK seek to wield that technicality against Bibit and Chandra. According to The Jakarta Globe, the two men were not permitted to attend a House hearing on the KPK and reforms. Lawmakers claimed this was because the men were still legally considered suspects. Yet, as the newspaper notes, many believe the move was in retaliation for the arrest of 19 former and current legislators on charges of corruption.

Sadly, it seems that even if Bibit and Chandra are no longer in immediate danger of prosecution, last year’s compromise over the case also compromised their ability to act effectively. Yet another tragedy in the story of post-reformasi¬†Indonesia.

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