Fri, 05 Aug 1994

No protection for Golkar cadres who break law: Harmoko

JAKARTA (JP): Chairman of Golkar Harmoko has said he will not protect any cadres or executives falling out of line, directing them instead to court for trial.

Harmoko, who is also Minister of Information, said yesterday after installing ranking officials at his office that Golkar would not bail out its members involved in any form of crime, "be it a regular member, a party cadre or a high-ranking government official".

Harmoko was commenting on the arrest of Yor, chief of the Jakarta chapter of a powerful youth organization affiliated to Golkar, who was caught red-handed by police in a raid on a gambling den in West Jakarta last Friday.

Yor, 43, holds prominence among the organization activists because he concurrently also serves as a functionary of the Jakarta chapter of the AMPI youth organization, the Jakarta chapter of Golkar, chief of the Tourism Unit of the All Indonesian Workers Organization and chairman of the Tourism Entertainment Business Association.

Police said that Yor was caught along with six others while playing rummy and macok (a card game) at around 9 p.m. in a plywood storehouse on Jl. Daan Mogot, West Jakarta. The storehouse was owned by Abidin, one of the suspects.

Police also sealed down the house and seized the cards, coins and a sum of cash as evidence to be used in court.

Harmoko insisted that from the beginning Golkar has been determined to safeguard law, order and security.

"Members of Golkar committing crime must be dealt with according to proper legal procedures," he said.

He said everyone in Golkar, regardless of his or her background, is equal to non-Golkar members in front of the law and if a court ruling finds them guilty they should be punished.

But Harmoko did not explain whether he would suspend Yor from Golkar and other organizations affiliated with the ruling party, saying the decision was up to the Jakarta chapter of Golkar office, where the suspect was registered as an executive.


In a related development, Lt. Col. Latief Rabar, a spokesman for the City Police, said that Yor would remain in custody as long as the investigation into his case had yet to be completed.

"He is still here. We haven't yet finished questioning witnesses and now we are also investigating whether he has been involved in any other crimes," Latief said.

Rumor circulated that Yor, an Irianese, had been released on bail, an allegation denied by Latief.

Earlier, City Police Chief Maj. Gen. Mochammad Hindarto said there were many parties, including journalists, who demanded for Yor's release on bail. Police are, however, reluctant to meet the demand for several unspecified reasons.

Forum Keadilan weekly, carrying a brief interview with the suspect, reported yesterday that Yor said his arrest was politically-motivated because he was not gambling when police raided the storehouse.

Yor acknowledged that the storehouse was formerly used as a gambling den but he said that there was no more gambling activities there after the Operation Cleansing team busted gambling activities in the Lucky Plaza building, also in West Jakarta.

More than 150 gamblers, including some foreigners, were captured in the raid on the Lucky Plaza gambling den in May.

Yor, who holds a fearsome reputation among the public for his group's alleged illicit activities, pledged that his men would not take revenge against anyone for his arrest.

"Never such an reputation appeared. I try to play by the rules," he said. (pwn/jsk)