Top Detective Replaced after Graft Scandal

JAKARTA ~ The country’s chief detective has been replaced after being implicated in an alleged plot to falsely imprison anti-graft investigators, police said.

National Chief Detective Susno Duadji, who resigned from his post earlier this month only to be reinstated, has been shifted from his post as part of a broad administrative reshuffle.

Police spokesman Nanan Soekarna said on Wednesday that Duadji would remain a “high-ranking official in the national police headquarters” despite allegations he had accepted bribes and abused his power to pervert justice.

Duadji was allegedly at the centre of a conspiracy involving senior police, prosecutors and a corrupt businessman to fabricate criminal charges against two members of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

He infamously described the conflict between the police and the anti-graft agency as a fight between a crocodile and a gecko, unwittingly reinforcing the dismal reputation of the police in the minds of many Indonesians.

The commissioners were released earlier this month after KPK wiretap recordings of phone conversations exposing the apparent conspiracy were played in the Constitutional Court.

Soekarna made no mention of Duadji’s role in the affair, which has sparked protests and damaged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s image as a corruption fighter.

Yudhoyono has promised to stamp out the “court mafia” of police, prosecutors, judges and middlemen who run Indonesia’s legal system but has ignored calls to sack senior law enforcers over the KPK scandal.

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court ruled that a presidential decree issued on October 6 to suspend the KPK commissioners, Bibit Samad Riyanto and Chandra Hamzah, was effectively unconstitutional.

“The KPK leaders can be dismissed only if there is a court ruling that has permanent legal power,” and not on the basis of suspicion, chief judge Muhammad Mahfud told the court.

It was a rare victory for the two KPK officials that could lead to their reinstatement as top anti-graft investigators.

“We want to protect our institution so that in future the KPK won’t be vulnerable to any criminal plot,” Hamzah told reporters outside the court.

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