The Indonesian public was shocked on Tuesday after an announcement from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which has named Budi Gunawan a graft suspect, just days after his nomination by Joko to succeed Sutarman, who is due to retire in October. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Police Chief Candidate Budi Accuses KPK of Ulterior Motives in Naming Him Suspect

JANUARY 13, 2015

Jakarta. National Police chief candidate Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan says the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has an ulterior motive in naming him a graft suspect.

"I see there are some maneuvers and conflicts of interest," Budi said during a meeting with lawmakers from Commission III of the House of Representatives.

The commission, which oversees legal affairs, was scheduled to hold a fit-and-proper test on Wednesday, ahead of Budi's appointment as the new chief of National Police.

President Joko Widodo on Friday sent a letter to the House stating his intent to appoint Budi as the new police chief to replace Gen. Sutarman, even though Sutarman will not retire until October this year.

But on Tuesday, the KPK stated it had named Budi a suspect over a number of suspicious financial transactions.

Budi said the KPK's timing in announcing his status as a suspect was highly questionable.

"Why now? Why during the nomination of the National Police chief? What's going on here?" Budi said. "I do not want to end my career this way, I do not want any injustice, this is not about me, this about the dignity of Indonesian president and the National Police," he added.

Budi also emphasized he would still head to the House to take part in the fit-and-proper test with Commission III, even though it was unclear whether lawmakers were willing to go ahead.

Budi has no membership in any political party, but he is a known close aide of the chairwoman the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Megawati Soekarnoputri. He served as her adjutant during her term as president from 2001 to 2004. Some suspect Megawati of having led a push for Budi's nomination, even though it is the president's prerogative to appoint the chief of National Police.

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