The Witness and Victim Protection Agency, or LPSK, has called for greater protection of whistleblowers in corruption cases. (ID Photo/Emral Firdiansyah)

LPSK Urges More Protection for Graft Whistleblowers

BY :NIVELL RAYDA

DECEMBER 09, 2015

Jakarta. The Witness and Victim Protection Agency, or LPSK, expressed concerns over the lack of protection for so-called whistleblowers who report corruption, as they often become the target of a counter criminal suit launched by the accused.

LPSK chairman Abdul Haris Semendawai called the trend a serious blow to Indonesia's fight against corruption, particularly when a case involves a powerful politician who can afford the country's top lawyers and has connections at law enforcement agencies.

“It is not rare for [the accused] to fight back and even launch a counter suit against the accuser or witnesses in the case,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to Semendawai, unless witnesses are protected, people would be reluctant to expose acts of corruption in fear of intimidation and retaliation.

The Law on Witness and Victim Protection states that witnesses and victims must be protected from such backlash unless the courts find the suspect not guilty.

However, the law is rarely applied as law enforcers are often reluctant to voluntarily offer protection which in turn discourages witnesses from turning informant on a corruption case involving high ranking officials.

The remark came as House Speaker Setya Novanto threatened to report Indonesia’s energy minister to the police for making public a voice recording of Setya allegedly attempting to extort $4 billion worth of shares from mining giant Freeport Indonesia.

The speaker also plans to press charges against a local television station broadcasting the playback of the recording live during an ethics tribunal at the House of Representatives last week, when Energy Minister Sudirman Said presented the recording as evidence of wrongdoing by Setya.

The station in question is Metro TV.

Setya has found himself at the heart of what the Attorney General’s Office calls a “corruption conspiracy” after Sudirman reported him to the House Ethics Council for allegedly using the president’s name to demand a 20 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia, worth an estimated $4 billion.

The council subsequently launched an ethics tribunal against Setya, which is ongoing. The AGO, meanwhile, has indicated it will launch a formal criminal investigations.

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