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Cablegate: Indonesian Parliament Selects Controversial Anti-Corruption

VZCZCXRO6210
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #3349/01 3411039
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071039Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7320
INFO RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1282
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4566
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1724
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4335
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 003349

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MTS, EEB/IFD/OIA, INL BOULDIN
L/LEI FOR BUCHHOLZ
DOJ FOR CRIM AAG SWARTZ
DOJ/OIA FOR WARNER/ROBINSON
DOJ/OPDAT FOR ALEXANDRE/LEHMANN/JOHNSON
DOJ/AFMLS FOR SAMUEL
MCC FOR AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH AND MORFORD
DEPT PASS USTR FOR AMBASSADOR SCHWAB
TREASURY FOR IA - BAUKOL
USAID FOR ANE/AA WARD

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCOR ECON KJUS ID
SUBJECT: INDONESIAN PARLIAMENT SELECTS CONTROVERSIAL ANTI-CORRUPTION
COMMISSIONERS


JAKARTA 00003349 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Parliament selected five new commissioners for the
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for the 2007-2011 term.
Civil society leaders have expressed disappointment with the
choices, but remain cautiously optimistic that two or three
commissioners will be able to quietly lead KPK anti-corruption
reform. Parliament exerted its influence in this intensely
political process that yielded what many see as weak commissioners,
including a new Chairman who has been a subject of corruption
allegations. The Indonesian government lost an opportunity to
appoint the strongest group of Commissioners possible. The five
appointed commissioners, however, still have the potential to slowly
move the anti-corruption reform agenda forward. End Summary.

DPR Commission III Picks Mixed Group of Commissioners
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. (SBU) On December 5, Commission III - the law and human rights
committee in Parliament (DPR) - selected the five new KPK
commissioners from a list of ten candidates submitted by an
independent selection committee. After public hearings with each
commissioner candidate, Commission III chose:

-- Antasari Azhar (Chairman)
-- Chandra Hamzah
-- Bibit Samad Rianto
-- Haryono
-- Moch. Yasin

The five commissioners represent distinct sections of the larger
anti-corruption institutional network. Azhar is currently Director
of Prosecution in the Deputy Attorney General's Office (AGO) for
General Crimes. Hamzah is a private sector lawyer and was a
co-founder of the Center for Law and Policy Studies, a leading legal
reform think tank. He was also a member of the former Inter-agency
Corruption Team (ICET). Rianto is now a university administrator,
but is a former head of police in East Kalimantan. Haryono is
currently serving in the Indonesian state audit authority (BPKP),
but is a largely unknown entity in terms of anti-corruption reform.
Yasin now serves as the KPK's Director of Research and Development.
Yasin is more cerebral, less action-oriented and considered to be a
weak choice for this leadership role.

3. (SBU) Commission III conducted two rounds of voting. MPs
selected the five commissioners in round one. MPs chose the
Chairman during the second round, voting between the top two round
one vote-getters. In round one, Hamzah received the most votes - 44
of a possible 49 votes, compared to Azhar's 37. Rianto and Haryono
received 30 votes and Yasin received 28, narrowly beating the other
AGO candidate Marwan Effendy. In the second round, Azhar won the
chairmanship by a landslide, 41-8.

Institutional Re-Balancing in Anti-Corruption Reform
--------------------------------------------- -------

4. (SBU) Three KPK officials were on the original list of ten, yet
only one current KPK leader, Yasin, made the final cut. Amien
Sunaryadi, the only current KPK commissioner seeking reappointment
and highly regarded as a leading anti-corruption advocate, received
just 16 votes. During the public hearings, Commission III members
accused Sunaryadi of being an "agent of the U.S." Yasin is regarded
as the weakest of the three KPK candidates, according to our
sources. Waluyo, the other KPK candidate and current Deputy for
graft investigations, came in a distant seventh place (19 votes).
Commission III's rejection of Sunaryadi and narrow selection of
Yasin signal an implicit rejection of the KPK's current agenda. The
difference of one vote would have completely shut out current KPK
leadership from the new commissioner leadership.

5. (U) Current AGO official Azhar as chairman and former provincial
police head Rianto as a commissioner create a representative set of

JAKARTA 00003349 002.2 OF 002


KPK leaders. Current Chairman Taufiequrachman Ruki is a former city
police chief and current Commissioner Tumpak Hatorangan is a former
AGO official. However, one role of the KPK is the oversight of all
government institutions involved in anti-corruption, including the
AGO and police. The increasing prominence of the KPK has threatened
the AGO and police, according to our sources. The DPR's
commissioner selections have reduced the independence and threatened
the oversight function of the KPK.

Civil Society Expresses Deep Concern
------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Civil society leaders and media voiced criticism for
Commission III's selection. The Coalition for Court Monitoring
submitted to Commission III the names of three candidates - Azhar,
Rianto, and Effendy - who they felt would not be suitable candidates
due to their previous roles in the AGO and police as well as
corruption allegations. Commission III hijacked the KPK, according
to Denny Indrayana, a leading legal reform activist and
constitutional law professor. However, Indrayana also said that
this selection of commissioners is a bad scenario, but not a
nightmare. Our contacts in the legal reform community are placing
their hopes in working with Hamzah and Yasin and reaching out to
Haryono. While the KPK is weakened, these two or three
commissioners could provide a counterweight to actions by Azhar and
Rianto, according to Bibip Susanti, a legal reform activist and
scholar.

"The Real Boss of the KPK is Commission III"
--------------------------------------------

7. (SBU) Commission III Deputy Chairman Aziz Syamsuddin (Golkar) and
member Murdaya Poo (PDI-P) made little attempt to defend their
selections during a meeting with the DCM. "It's better to pick
someone who is a little corrupt, but wants to protect the nation,"
Aziz said. Aziz cited loyalty as the top criteria, also including
intellect, teamwork, and integrity. Antasari Azhar demonstrated
loyalty to the DPR members when he said that as KPK commissioner he
would not allow a KPK investigation into BI funds being transferred
to DPR members.

8. (SBU) Poo (PDI-P) told us, "The real boss of the KPK is
Commission III." Commission III's role in anti-corruption reform
cannot be overlooked. Commission III will consider critical
legislation regarding anti-corruption reform, particularly the new
Anti-Corruption Court Law and, most likely, a new law being drafted
on the KPK. Commission III's selection of the new KPK commissioners
indicates a weakening of the KPK at best, the first step in a
possible elimination of the KPK at worst.

HUME

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