JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s popular anti-graft agency will be left “paralysed” if police follow through with threats to name all its senior commissioners as suspects in various criminal cases, an agency official warned on Thursday.
The police last month named Bambang Widjojanto, deputy chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), a suspect in a 2010 perjury case and are currently investigating complaints against the remaining three commissioners.
The move has ramped up tension between the two rival law enforcement agencies and prompted public outrage over what many consider a blow to anti-graft efforts in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
Activists have rallied in support of the KPK, calling police actions a blow to the fledgling anti-graft movement in a country that consistently ranks among the most corrupt in the world, according to Transparency International.
“If the leaders of the KPK are named suspects one by one … it is a fact that the KPK will be paralysed,” Johan Budi, deputy of chief of the agency’s corruption prevention unit, told reporters.