Febri Diansyah (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

KPK Spokesman Resigns to Open Law Firm


SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

Jakarta. Febri Diansyah, the renowned spokesman of the Corruption Eradication Corruption, has resigned after working largely off-camera since the current leadership assumed office last year.

The 37-year-old said on Thursday he will run a legal consultancy firm for “victims in corruption cases” but stopped short of detailing reasons behind his resignation.

"After discussions with some friends, we came up with a plan to establish a law firm specializing in anti-corruption advocacy, with focus on victims in graft cases and consumer protection," he said.

His resignation letter was submitted to KPK Chairman Firli Bahuri on Sept. 18, he said.

He added at the meantime he has no plan to join government institutions or state-owned companies.

"I don’t apply to ministries, SOEs, companies or other places, at least for now," he said.

Febri added the working circumstance inside the Commission had been “different” since the law on KPK’s authority and manpower was amended on Sept. 17, 2020. 

He didn’t make secret of his strong opposition to the amendment at that time and the then leadership board also sought to block the legislation process at the House of Representatives.

The amended law brings in controversial new provisions: KPK commissioners no longer have the power to investigate or prosecute a case; wiretaps of potential suspects or asset seizures can only be done after securing a permit from a president-appointed oversight body; and all KPK staff have to join the civil service.

Critics said the provisions have effectively crippled the respected commission, especially with the new, complicated wiretapping procedures. 

The new leadership board led by Firli came subsequently and soon Febri was promoted to the head of public relations division, which largely put him behind desk rather than in direct news briefings.

“I didn’t resign immediately after that, I chose to stay and explore new ways in which I can still contribute to anti-corruption fights,” Febri said.

However, Febri said he couldn’t adapt to the “new circumstance” during the last 11 months under the amended law and decided that he could do more for his cause if he was an outsider.

The Gadjah Mada University’s law school graduate also said he was loyal to the KPK and its mandated missions, but not to individual leaders in it.

“Despite my departure, I‘m not leaving KPK entirely. I will help the commission fight corruption from the outside in the same way I did before I joined the commission,” added Febri, who was popularly known as anti-graft activist while becoming a researcher at non-governmental group Indonesia Corruption Watch.

He joined the commission in December 2016 and soon became a spokesman.

But Febri made it clear he had no resentment towards Firli and his deputies.