Corruption Body Overwhelmed with Cases

JAKARTA ~ The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has received tens of thousands of reports of suspected corruption since 2003 but has resolved just a tiny fraction of them, an official said on Wednesday.

“It’s a long process until one case concludes with a conviction,” commission spokesman Johan Budi said.

Five KPK commissioners were appointed by presidential decree in 2003 and will finish their first term at the end of this year, so attention is intensifying in Indonesia on what the body has achieved.

The creation of the KPK was part of the reform movement that swept Indonesia following the downfall of president Suharto.

Ingrained corruption, which makes the nation one of the world’s most graft-prone and keeps many foreign investors away, is largely seen as a result of his legacy.

“It’s impossible to clean this republic up in such short time… we cannot eradicate corruption in four years,” KPK chairman Taufiequrrahman Ruki said on Tuesday.

Since 2003 the KPK has opened 148 investigations, 66 of which resulted in the naming of suspects. Fifty-four cases were brought to trial, resulting in 39 convictions, according to commission figures.

The KPK has the authority to investigate and prosecute cases that were previously the domain of police and prosecutors.

The International Monetary Fund called for the establishment of the body amid criticism that graft was undermining Indonesia’s investment climate.

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