JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The National Police has rejected the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK)’s decision to move former police chief detective Commissioner General Susno Duadji to another detention centre. National Police spokesman Inspector General Edward Aritonang said here Tuesday that the authority of moving Susno Duadji to another detention centre was in the hands of police investigators.
"Those authorized to transfer Mr.Susno to the National Police detention center or another detention house are the police investigators who had detained him," he said. In the case of the former police chief detective, the police investigators did not see any significance of transferring him from the police Mobile Brigade (Brimob)’s detention center. Susno has been detained at the Brimob jail in Kelapa Dua, Depok, since May 11 after the police investigators named him suspect. They accused him of receiving a bribe of Rp500 million over the Salmah Arowana Lestari case. Susno was also accused of abusing the funds for securing the 2008 elections in West Java Province.
The LPSK itself had decided to protect Susno as whistle blower of high profile corruptors and case brokers within the National Police force. The protection was given to him because Susno felt that his safety was in danger. Therefore the LPSK would transder Susno to a safer detention house. The National Police had arrested and detained Susno for 20 days. This detention period would be extended to another 40 days. Aritonang said, due to the fact that the police were the first party that detained Susno, the LPSK could not then intervene.
Susno’s current status was suspect so that the LPSK could not intervene the police because it only handled matters related to the protection of witnesses and victims, he said. The LPSK’s argument that Susno was a protected witness would not hamper the police investigation process, he said. "Susno’s status as the LPSK’s protected witness will only become the court’s panel of judges’ consideration when making their verdict," Aritonang said. The National Police, he said, supported Susno’s status as the LPSK’s protected witness but, in return, the police also wanted it to respect the police investigators’ authority. In response to the police’s stance, Susno Duadji’s lawyer, Zul Armain Azis, said the National Police had no reasons for ignoring the LPSK’s decision. "Both the LPSK and police work in accordance with laws but the bill on LPSK is more dominant in connection with the Susno case," he said. Police investigators who questioned Susno Duadji over the Salmah Arowana Lestari company in Riau provincial area of Rumbai named him suspect of receiving a bribe of Rp500 million. The police investigators based their decision to detain Susno on the testimonies of such people as Sjahril Djohan, Haposan Hutagalung, and Adjunct Senior Commissioner Syamsu Rizal.
Sjahril Djohan and Haposan Hutagalung had previously been arrested for their alleged involvement in the Gayus Tambunan case. The police questioned Susno about the arowana fish farm case because it might have involved Haposan Hutagalung and Sjahril Djohan.
The arowana fish farm case was related to a dispute between a Singaporean businessman (only identified as HKH) and his Indonesian counterpart (only identified as AS alias Am). HKH reportedly had given Rp100 billion to his Indonesian partner to engage in the arowana fish business in Pekanbaru, Riau Province.
The Singaporean businessman had also handed over arowana fingerlings with a total value of Rp32 billion. Initially, the police considered the arowana fish case to be a civil one but later the National Police Headquarters changed its mind and categorized it as a criminal one. Susno Duadji himself said that the arowana fish case should be a civil lawsuit because it was more of a business dispute than a criminal offense. The police investigators asked Susno Duadji about it because the business dispute occurred when he was still the national police chief detective.