KPK and ICW refuse to include corruption crimes in Criminal Code Draft

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Public seminar titled “Reviewing the Regulation of Corruption Crime in the RKUHP” in Century Park Hotel, South Jakarta, Monday (24/06/2019). (photo: IO/Dani)

IO, Jakarta – The Government and the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) are currently discussing a draft of the Criminal Code (Rancangan Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Pidana – “RKUHP”). This is thus the right moment for Indonesia to adjust its norms, principles, and regulations stipulated in criminal law against criminal law theories and practices in a spirit of decolonializing, democratizing, and harmonizing them. An issue pertinent to the public is the inclusion of the crime of corruption (tindak pidana korupsi – “tipikor”) into the RKUHP.

Something to note about the RKUHP is that it contains four new crimes, as mandated by the United Nations’ Convention against Corruption (“UNCAC”): illicit enrichment, abuse or trade of power influence for improper gains (trading in influence), corruption of foreign public officials or international public organizations, and foreign sector corruption.

Therefore, the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (“ICJR”), the Indonesian Justice Monitoring Society of University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Law (Masyarakat Pemantau Peradilan Indonesia Fakultas Hukum Universitas Indonesia – “MaPPI FHUI”), and the National Alliance for KUHP Reforms recommend three courses of action.

First, the Government and DPR must not validate the RKUHP in a rush, because of the large number of issues related to the very formulation of the RKUHP. These include articles concerning crimes of corruption – what exactly is meant by the “core crime of corruption”? How is “tipikor” to be positioned in the RKUHP, whether in the formulation of its articles or the formulation of its transit regulations?

Second, if the Government and DPR continue to insist that articles related to tipikor are inserted into the RKUHP, adjustments and improvements of troublesome regulations are required.

Third, it is only proper that Indonesia’s commitment to the eradication of corruption be adjusted to match UNCAC standards, as an international regulation ratified by Indonesia.

Head of Regulation and Legal Products Design of the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”) Rasamala Aritonang insists that KPK is not opposing the RKUHP being discussed by the Government and DPR. However, he suggests that provisions concerning the crime of corruption not be included in the RKUHP. “KPK is not rejecting the RKUHP. KPK is merely requesting that provisions concerning corruption be excised from the RKUHP. We intend corruption to be covered in a separate Corruption Crime Law of its own, to be excised from the RKUHP. There is no need for it to be entered into the RKUHP. If it is not regulated by RKUHP, the RKUHP can be completed more quickly,” Rasamala insisted in a public discussion entitled “Reviewing the Regulation of Corruption Crime in the RKUHP” in Century Park Hotel, Jakarta, on Monday (24/06/2019).

Rasamala stated that KPK has already submitted its request to Coordinating Minister of Politics and Security Wiranto in order to allow President Joko Widodo to understand the necessity of separating tipikor laws from the RKUHP. “The Coordinating Minister has actually met the President, to discuss KPK’s proposal and points of interest towards this RKUHP,” he said.

Similar opposition was expressed by the Indonesia Corruption Watch (“ICW”). According to ICW’s Law and Justice Monitoring Division Member Lalola Easter, such a rejection was not groundless, as there are three serious threats to corruption eradication efforts if tipikor regulations are included in the RKUHP.

First, doing so would severely limit the authority of the KPK for laying charges and instituting legal action. Despite frequent assurance by the Government and the DPR that the validation of this RKUHP will not interfere with KPK efforts, such an inclusion signifies that KPK would no longer be authorized to deal with corruption cases, as regulated in the current KUHP. Such authority would be transferred instead to the State Attorney and to the Police. “KPK’s authority to investigate, review, and lay charges of corruption, as in the KPK Law, would no longer be in effect, if this RKUHP is validated,” he declared.

Second, in addition to changes in the authority of KPK, that of the Corruption Court might also be terminated, if it is to no longer review and hear corruption crime cases, as stipulated in the Corruption Crime Law. If this law is also included in the RKHUP, corruption cases will be filed and tried in ordinary courts.

Third, a number of corruption-related provisions in the RKUHP are actually beneficial to corruptors, while the stated intent of the Corruption Crime Law is to punish corruptors accordingly. Furthermore, the threats of fines and terms of imprisonment in the RKUHP are actually lighter sentences than those stipulated in the existing Corruption Crime Law. (D. Ramdani)