Category Archives: Akil Mochtar

Getting worse all the time (Indonesia)

As if a bribery scandal were not enough, according to The Jakarta Globe the KPK now claims to have found marijuana and ecstasy in Akil Mochtar’s office in the Constitutional Court.

There are also more reactions, as Mahfud calls on Akil to resign and Indonesian Corruption Watch urges the KPK to widen its investigation to other allegations of corruption against Akil. President SBY said in a statement that the scandal is even more serious because it potentially means that some Constitutional Court decisions were wrongly decided, and given that decisions are final and binding they would interfere with the democratic process.

Comments Off on Getting worse all the time (Indonesia)

Filed under Akil Mochtar, corruption, indonesia, Mahkamah Konstitusi

BREAKING NEWS: CJ Mochtar arrested

Back in April, I posted news about Akil Mochtar’s election to the chief justiceship of the Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi). I had mentioned that a few years ago Justice Akil was accused of bribery in a district elections case from North Sumatra. I had speculated that while Chief Justice Akil was cleared of all charges, the allegations might taint his term.

Apparently, corruption has come back to Chief Justice Akil. According to The Jakarta Post, the chief justice was arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) over bribery charges earlier today in connection to a dispute regarding the Gunung Mas Regency elections. The KPK says it seized Rp. 3 million from Akil Mochtar’s house and also arrested several other lawmakers.

Obviously, this incident could have huge implications for the MK. Up until now, the MK has had a relatively clean reputation. I suspect this news will shatter that image and disappoint many Indonesian anticorruption activists. Senior Advisor on Governance in Justice Partnership (Partnership), Laode M Sharif – my former colleague at the Asia Foundation in Jakarta – expressed his surprise and disappointment. I expect more to come.

More important than the immediate reaction will be how the rest of the MK handles the scandal. Will the justices be able to decide on a public relations strategy? Will the abandon Mochtar or stick with him? Will the MK wait until the KPK formally charges Mochtar? Until the end of the trial?

This is the beginning of a new era for the MK. I’m heading to Indonesia soon and will hopefully learn more while I’m there.

UPDATE (03 October 2013):

The Jakarta Globe reports more reactions to the news of Akil Mochtar’s arrest. The condemnation has been widespread. Former MK Chief Justice Jimly has allegedly suggested the death penalty would have a strong deterrent effect against corruption. Former Chief Justice Mahfud MD has said publicly that Akil Mochtar should cooperate with the investigation. Also reports coming out tomorrow explain the charges levied against Akil Mochtar.

According to Viva News, the MK has already recommended suspending Akil Mochtar and assigned his cases to other justices. Significantly, it appears that, while they have not embraced him, the other justices have not tried to defend him. According to Deputy Chief Justice Hamdan Zoelva, the MK will also launch an internal investigation.

Comments Off on BREAKING NEWS: CJ Mochtar arrested

Filed under Akil Mochtar, corruption, indonesia, Mahkamah Konstitusi

Big change at the MK (Indonesia)

After Mahfud’s departure, the Mahkamah Konstitusi selected Akil Mochtar as the new chief justice. According to The Jakarta Post, Mochtar won 7 votes compared to two for Harjono. Mochtar was a former GOLKAR DPR member, which continues the trend of having politicians serve as chief justice (Mahfud was a PKB member).

However, Mochtar’s election also brings new questions. In 2010, then-Justice Mochtar was also accused of bribery in a district elections case from North Sumatra. While the MK eventually cleared him of all charges, will the ensuing stigma affect the MK’s reputation?

Thus far, the MK has has acquired a reputation for integrity – not inconsiderable given the extent of corruption in Indonesia’s government. Former chief justices Jimly and Mahfud both had clean reputations and no scandals, which helped the court weather attacks from the DPR and president when the justices issued controversial rulings. Will Mochtar have enough clout to act as a champion for the MK? All we know for sure is that the MK is undergoing an important transition.

Comments Off on Big change at the MK (Indonesia)

Filed under Akil Mochtar, indonesia, Mahkamah Konstitusi