Sun, 07 Dec 2003

Picks for antigraft body down to final ten

Fabiola Desy Unidjaja, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The names of the final 10 candidates for the high-powered Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) were submitted to President Megawati Soekarnoputri on Saturday, more than one month after the selection process started in early October.

However, noted anticorruption activist Bambang Widjojanto, whom many had expected to gain a seat in the commission, was obviously absent from the list, suggesting that he failed to pass the interview on Friday, when selection committee members looked into the track records of each candidate.

"We began our work to select these candidates in October and considered public views at every stage (of the selection process) to finally come up with these 10 names," Romli said after meeting President Megawati.

The final 10 are Mohammad Yamin, Marsilam Simandjuntak, Chairul Imam, Yaufiequrachman Ruki, Tumpak H. Panggabean, Momo Kelana, Iskandar Sonhadji, Sjahruddin Rasul, Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas and Amien Sunaryadi.

"We had many aspects to consider before determining the names of final 10 candidates late last night," Romli said.

However, the exclusion of Bambang, who is also chairman of Indonesian Corruption Watch's (ICW) board of ethics, threw into question the credibility of the whole selection process.

Reliable sources within the selection committee told The Jakarta Post on Saturday that Bambang was excluded from the list after a long, heated debate among committee members.

The exclusion of Bambang from the list had caused a rift among the selection team members, as some considered Bambang eligible to be in the commission.

Several team members, however, rejected Bambang, who is also former chairman of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), on the grounds that he did not have the qualities needed for a state official.

Romli declined to elaborate on the reasons why Bambang was excluded from the nomination, saying only that he did not meet the requirements.

The President will submit the 10 names to the House of Representatives, which will select five names as KPK commission members. Megawati is slated to submit the names to the House on Dec. 12 at the latest.

The names of five selected candidates will be sent back to the President for approval before they are sworn in as KPK leaders.

The commission should be established by Dec. 27 at the latest.

Under the current anticorruption law, the KPK has the authority to investigate, seize assets and prosecute suspected corrupters. It may also take over investigation into corruption cases closed by the Attorney General's Office.

CANDIDATES FOR THE CORRUPTION COMMISSION ----------------------------------------------------------------

NAMES CURRENT PROFESSION ---------------------------------------------------------------- Mohammad Yamin Prosecutor Chairul Imam Prosecutor Marsillam Simandjuntak Former attorney general Taufiequrachman Ruki Public Servants' Wealth Audit Commission (KPKPN) Tumpak H. Panggabean Prosecutor Iskandar Sonhadji Lawyer and activist Sjahruddin Rasul Supreme Audit Agency Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas Activist Amien Sunaryadi KPKPN Momo Kelana KPKPN ----------------------------------------------------------------