Indonesia: Graft Buster Chief Nabbed For Murder

Antasari Azhar, Indonesia's Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) chief, was arrested for masterminding a murder of  Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, a pharmaceutical boss.

Nasrudin died due to a head wound. Two men who shot Nasrudin in mid April were also arrested and testified against Antasari.

Per Monday, the Indonesian Police confirmed Antasari as suspect. However, Predient Yudhoyono, through State Secretary Hatta Rajasa [id] said that the Palace wil not issue Temporary Dismissal for Antasari yet, until further development of the case.

One of KPK officials quoted by local English journal The Jakarta Globe said that, “The KPK is an organization that does not rely on one person.”

Blogger Patung in his Indonesia Matters said:

There are two versions as to why Antasari Azhar may have been moved to order a “hit” on Nasruddin:

Corruption & RNI & Golkar – some believe the murder is connected to the trial for corruption of Ranendra Dangin, the finance director of PRB’s holding company, RNI. On March 30th Ranendra’s trial began, for allegedly embezzling 4.5 billion rupiah ($370,000) from the refined sugar import monopoly controlled by RNI and the National Logistics Agency (Bulog).

Zulkarnaen was expected to be called to give evidence against Ranendra – he will be unable to do so now. There are a number of other corruption investigations into RNI currently ongoing, although only one has reached court.

There are other rumours that Nasrudin Zulkarnain was ready to cooperate with authorities to expose other corruption cases at PRB and RNI, to defeat his rivals at the company and enhance his chances of promotion – for this reason he befriended Antasari at the golf club. Some of these cases would likely implicate senior Golkar party figures.

In this version Antasari did the bidding of those he was supposed to be investigating and prosecuting, to protect them, and Golkar.

Love triangle – involving a 22 year old university student, Rhani or Rani Julianti, who worked part time as a caddy at the Modernland golf course, where both Nasrudin and Antasari played. Both men are said to have paid for her services, both on the golf course and off. Last year she became Nasrudin Zulkarnaen’s wife number 3.

It is said that Antasari became infatuated with Rani and that Zulkarnaen had threatened to expose the relationship to the gossip press.

Meanwhile Teguh Usis, like many Indonesians believe that Antasari is being framed. In his article which appeared on Politikana, a local political platform, Teguh asked himself if someone like Antasari, who is dedicated in his mission to eradicate Indonesian corruption to the core, who even declined coffee invitation in the past because it against his work ethic,  would do such brutal and stupid thing like murder.

Teguh elaborates:

Memang, Antasari bukanlah KPK, dan KPK bukankah Antasari. KPK adalah sebuah lembaga. Antasari “hanya” menjadi ketua di lembaga tersebut. Tapi, jika sang panglima KPK dilibas, tidakkah itu bakal menimbulkan rasa jeri di lembaga pemberantasan korupsi tersebut? Boleh jadi, kolega Antasari akan jauh lebih hati-hati karena takut nasibnya akan berakhir sama dengan Antasari. Semoga saja kecemasan ini tidak menjadi kenyataan.

Indeed, Antasari is not KPK and KPK is not Antasari. KPK is an agency. Antasari is “only” the chief of the agency. But, if the KPK's general is being overthrown like that, won't his subordinates be hesitant to keep working within the body? What could happen is that Antasari's collegue will be careful with themselves, fearing their fates will duplicate that of Antasari. Hopefully this restlessness (of mine) will not be a reality.

The Corruption Eradication Committee is known to restore people's faith in the country's judicial system.

Since being appointed as the chief of KPK, Antasari has made new enemies, the who's who of Indonesian politics.  His high profile accomplishment is  having Aulia Pohan [id], the father of Indonesian President's daughter in law, tried and jailed for corruption.

On paper, no Indonesian is KPK-proof.

Indonesian twitters tweeted their concern regarding Antasari's arrest, as corruption is a huge issue in the country.

Poetri for example, said:

Poetri tweets

The stupidest people alive at the moment are those who framed Antasari. You guys should watch more CSI. I hope you'll never become people's representative, if you do the nation will become more retarded with your help.

Anti-corruption drive has popular support in Indonesian soil. The KPK aims not only to bring the corruptor to justice but also educate the value of honesty to Indonesian youngs.  In 2008, KPK launched “Warung Kejujuran” or “Honesty Convenient Store”, where students and office employee can help themselves to buy things they need and pay the price of the items by putting the money on a transparent box, placed inside an unattended shop.


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