A team of doctors in Singapore will conduct comprehensive eye surgery on Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, senior investigator Novel Baswedan this weekend, a spokesman said on Tuesday (16/05). (Photo courtesy of Indonesia Corruption Watch)

KPK Investigator Novel Suffers Burns to His Face After Acid Attack by Unknown Men


APRIL 11, 2017

This article was updated on Tuesday (11/04) at 5:55 p.m. to add footage of North Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Dwiyono.

Jakarta. Novel Baswedan, a senior investigator at the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, suffered serious burns to his face after unknown men threw acid on him near his home in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, in the early hours of Tuesday (11/04).

Two unknown men on motorcycle threw acid in Novel’s face as he walked home from a mosque after the dawn prayer at around 5 a.m.

He was swiftly rushed to Mitra Keluarga Hospital in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, where he is still receiving medical treatment.

"I can confirm that Novel was injured in an acid attack. He's still receiving treatment at the hospital," Novel’s brother Taufik Baswedan told state news agency Antaranews.com on Tuesday morning.

Taufik said the acid attack has caused injuries to Novel's face and eyes, and he may need to spend the night in hospital.

Adnan Topan Husodo, the coordinator of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) suspected the acid attack was related to the KPK's marathon probe of politicians in the high-profile electronic ID card, or e-KTP, corruption case.

"The attack on Novel is a threat to the corruption eradication agenda. The people responsible want a certain graft investigation to be stopped," Adnan said in a statement.

He called on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian to investigate the attack and bring the responsible parties to justice.

Members of the North Jakarta Police have meanwhile conducted a crime scene investigation, where they collected samples of the acid for further testing.

North Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Dwiyono said on Tuesday that they are tracking down the perpetrators.

“This morning, Novel Baswedan went to a dawn prayer at Al-Iqsan Mosque and returned. On his way home, he was approached by two people who were riding on a motorcycle and carrying water; they then attacked him in the face. He is still receiving medical treatment in hospital. The case is under investigation by the North Jakarta Police,” Dwiyono said.

Last year, Novel also suffered injuries after being intentionally hit by a car while riding his motorcycle to KPK headquarters in Kuningan, South Jakarta.

Novel, the cousin of Jakarta governor candidate Anies Baswedan, is investigating the Rp 2.3 trillion e-KTP corruption case that has implicated a score of senior politicians, including House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto and Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly. Setya and Yasonna have denied any wrongdoing and have not been indicted.

Novel was put under the spotlight recently after Miryam Haryani — a lawmaker from Hanura, or the People's Conscience Party, and a key witness in the e-KTP graft case — accused several KPK investigators, including Novel, of forcing her to sign the investigation report.

Novel rejected the accusation.

During a hearing at the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court last month, Novel testified that a number of lawmakers had threatened Miryam to prevent her from revealing their alleged involvement in the e-KTP case.

The lawmakers Novel mentioned in court were Bambang Soesatyo and Azis Syamsuddin of Golkar; Desmond J. Mahesa of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra); and Masinton Pasaribu of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

The e-KTP project, which was supposed to provide biometric ID cards to all Indonesians aged 17 years and older, was mothballed in October 2015 following a series of problems, including a late start, technical glitches and officials demanding payments from residents to provide the ostensibly free service.

Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about a recent attack against KPK investigator Novel Baswedan.