Preventing Apocalypse 

By Dr. Iman Sjahputra, SH., SpN., LL.M.

Since October 2, 2013 until today, Indonesian mass media has been busy highlighting the successful arrest of the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court (MK), Akil Mochtar (AM), by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in his residence at Jl. Widya Chandra III No. 7, South Jakarta. The arrest was linked to an alleged bribery on disputed election in Gunung Mas, Central Kalimantan, and Lebak, Banten Province.

In this case, Chairun Nisa (CN), a member of the national Parliament from Golkar Party;  Hambit Bintih (HB), the governor of Gunung Mas; and Cornelis Nalau (CAN), an Indonesian businessman; are also arrested. AM and CN are alleged to be the bribe-taker while HB and CAN alleged to be the bribe-payer of the bribe, said Abraham Samad, the Chief of KPK.

This KPK’s strike triggered various comments from Indonesian citizen in mass media. This case regarded to be highly disgraced and poignant owing to the fact that it was involving MK as Indonesia’s high ranked judicial branch, as well as the guardian of the constitution. We can easily find myriad of shocking comments suggesting the suspects to be impoverished, punished by Moslem-influenced way such as hand-chop, or sentenced to death. Many people even think that this case signals the apocalypse of Indonesian justice system.

Diverse criticism as ways to uncover rage surely are acceptable as a form of right to speech. Nevertheless, as a constitutional state, punishment for suspects of crime in Indonesia should be bequeathed to the legal authority and complies to the rule. Therefore, can we declare that the legal justice of this country has come to an end? Is this an apocalypse to the Indonesian legal system? By scrutinizing from the paradigm of legal enforcement, this case undoubtedly should be regretted, nonetheless, we still can locate the ‘silver lining.’ We should be relieved that even though corruption has been rooted and even decriminalized, KPK still exist as an independent institution capable of revealing various cases of corruption equitably. The authority of MK as an independent institution which decision is final, does not make it ‘untouchable’ to KPK. The immaculate performance of ‘legal mafia’ that often makes the evidentiary process very difficult is not an impediment for KPK to fight corruption.

We hope that with the existence of KPK, arrays of problems in Indonesian justice system can be, slowly but sure, restored, establishing a solid trust from Indonesian citizen to its justice system. A long believed image that being a justice is a noble profession is n longer accurate. Justice is still a human filled with every of its weakness.

We should also appreciate an argument that the function of  Indonesian Judicial Commission (KY), as an institution conducting function of control to Indonesian justice system, shall be recovered, so that we can make sure that the justice’s performance is kept in line. Although MK has an honorary board, however, it is only internal. Is that so?


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