KPK arrests three PTUN judges, one lawyer in bribery case

KPK arrests three PTUN judges, one lawyer in bribery case
KPK Tangkap Tangan Ketua Hakim PTUN Medan

Medan, PAB-Online
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested on Thursday three judges with the Medan State Administrative Court (PTUN) in North Sumatra for allegedly receiving bribes from a lawyer.

KPK spokesman Priharsa Nugraha said the three judges — Tripeni Irianto Putra (who is also the PTUN head), Amir Fauzi and Dermawan Ginting — had been arrested at Tripeni’s office at the PTUN at 10 a.m., briefly after they had received money from lawyer Gerry Baskara, who works for prominent lawyer OC Kaligis law firm.

Priharsa said that KPK investigators had also seized money in US dollar bills from Tripeni’s office. The antigraft body, however, was still calculating the total amount of the confiscated money.

“The money was related to the handling of a case at the PTUN,” Priharsa said on Thursday.

The KPK, according to Priharsa, also arrested Gerry and a court clerk identified as Syamsir Yusfan during Thursday’s sting operation.

“Those arrested are currently being intensively questioned in Medan. After the questioning, they will be flown to Jakarta, probably tomorrow [Friday] morning,” he said.

Several people who witnessed the arrests at the PTUN said that Gerry had attempted to escape when KPK investigators were about to arrest him.

“The lawyer tried to flee but the KPK people managed to arrest him,” Irfandi, one of the witnesses, said. Irfandi added that he had seen at least seven KPK investigators involved in the sting operation.

In a press conference, PTUN spokesperson Sugianto said that the arrests from Thursday’s sting operation at the PTUN were related to a lawsuit filed by North Sumatra provincial administration finance bureau head Ahmad Fuad Lubis. The lawsuit challenged the Attorney General’s Office’s (AGO) effort to question Ahmad on alleged misappropriation of lower regional assistance (BDB) and social assistance (Bansos) funds at the provincial administration.

The PTUN, according to Sugianto, issued on March 31 a verdict that stated that the AGO’s effort to question Ahmad was illegitimate.

“The three arrested judges were members of the panel of judges that approved [Ahmad’s] lawsuit,” he said.

Contacted separately, Ahmad said that he had received legal assistance from OC Kaligis’ law firm to support his legal efforts in challenging the AGO’s investigation into the alleged misappropriation of Bansos and BDB funds at the provincial administration in 2012 and 2013.

“I filed the lawsuit to the Medan PTUN in an effort to clarify the progress of the investigation process at the AGO so that it did not interfere with the performance of the provincial administration. There have been too many local officials that have been repeatedly summoned to Jakarta for questioning,” he said, claiming that he was unaware of the progress of the lawsuit.

Commenting on the arrest, Supreme Court chief justice Hatta Ali deplored the arrest of the three judges, adding that they could face dismissal from their positions for the offence of besmirching the image of the country’s judicial system.

“We condemn the fact that there are still a number of judges who continue to violate their oath. I will let [the KPK] handle the case,” Hatta said.

Priharsa said the KPK would decide the fate of the disgraced individuals on Friday after KPK leaders met with KPK investigators in a joint expose forum at commission headquarters.(JP/IP)

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