MK ruling paves way for ex-KPK chief to challenge his conviction - Elsam.or.id
MK ruling paves way for ex-KPK chief to challenge his conviction
All convicts in the country, including former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Antasari Azhar — who was found guilty of orchestrating a high-profile murder when leading the antigraft body — can appeal their convictions an unlimited number of times, the Constitutional Court (MK) announced on Thursday.
The court’s panel of judges decided to grant Antasari’s request that the court annul Article 268 (3) of the Criminal Law Procedures Code (KUHAP) that limits each convict to filing a case review — the final appeal stage in the Indonesian justice system — one time only.
The panel of judges, led by the court’s chief justice Hamdan Zoelva, said the single case-review regulation contravened the Constitution, which assures justice and the protection of human rights.
“The court [system], tasked with safeguarding human rights, must not limit a case review to only one. By limiting the case review request, the court closed the process of finding justice and truth,” said one of the court’s judges, Anwar Usman, who read out the decision.
The decision was made seven months ago, on July 22, 2013, during a meeting led by the court’s then chief justice Akil Mochtar, who is standing trial on allegations he accepted bribes to fix the results of election disputes.
In 2010, Antasari was sentenced by the South Jakarta District Court to 18 years in prison for masterminding the murder of businessman Nasrudin Zulkarnaen.
Nasrudin, a director of state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Tangerang, Banten on March 14, 2009.
It is alleged Antasari, who was then at the peak of his career at the KPK, was having an affair with Nasrudin’s third wife, Rhani Juliani.
The police found Antasari had conspired with former South Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Williardi Wizard, businessman Sigit Haryo Wibisono and middleman Jerry Hermawan Lo, in the crime.
The case gave rise to a long public debate, with some arguing Antasari was framed for the murder in an attempt to weaken the KPK.
Under his leadership, the KPK made a bold move to prosecute Aulia Pohan, the father in-law of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s son, Agus Yudhoyono.
Antasari, who has persistently maintained his innocence, challenged the ruling by lodging an appeal with the Jakarta High Court and a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court, to no avail.
In September 2010, Antasari filed a case review later turned down by the Supreme Court’s appeal council, consisting of presiding judge Artidjo Alkotsar, Mugihardjo and Suryadjaja. Artidjo noted Mugihardjo expressed a dissenting opinion.
Separately, former Supreme Court justice Asep Iwan Iriawan, while respecting the Supreme Court’s decision, said “legal uncertainty” may emerge as a result of the ruling.
“Those who are dissatisfied with a court ruling will lodge case reviews over and over again. Where will it end?”
Criticism of the court’s ruling was also heard from Wahyudi Djafar, a researcher and human rights advocate at the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM).
“Aside from fulfilling the rights of the defendants, we must also pay attention to the rights of the victims. Can the victims get back their rights if the case can be reviewed several times? In the context of human rights, restoring justice for victims cannot be delayed,” Wahyudi said.
He added the new regulation would lead to a substantial and continuous amount of case reviews that would only add to the Supreme Court’s workload.