Jakarta. A high-ranking police officer was named suspect on Monday for helping graft fugitive Djoko Tjandra evade arrest during the latter’s return to Indonesia and for providing documents that enabled the convict to travel between cities.
Brigadier General Prasetijo Utomo is accused of concealing information about Djoko and discreetly producing travel documents for the businessman last month.
Prasetijo has been detained by the National Police Internal Affairs Division and stripped off his duties in the Criminal Investigation Agency, or Bareskrim, since July 16 following media uproar about the scandal.
“We would like to announce the latest development in the case against B.J.P.U. [Brig. Gen. Prasetijo Utomo] for the sake of public transparency, that we have named him a suspect,” Bakreskrim Head Comr. General Listyo Sigit said in a news conference at his office in South Jakarta.
The suspect is slapped with multiple criminal charges, including assisting a fugitive to evade arrest, concealing a fugitive, obstruction of justice and document forgery, Listyo said of his former subordinate. Prasetijo could face up to six years in jail if convicted.
The document forgery charge relates to a recommendation letter and a certificate stating that Djoko is free from coronavirus. Air passengers were required to produce both documents before boarding a plane during the pandemic under the Transportation Minister regulation applicable until last month.
Prasetijo signed the recommendation letter for Djoko on behalf of the Bareskrim and allegedly asked the National Police Health Division to issue the Covid-19 free certificate. The documents described Djoko as a “consultant” for the Bareskrim.
Listyo has confirmed the documents were issued without permission from him or the police chief.
He said Prasetijo has destroyed the evidence by burning both documents.
“The suspect, Prasetijo Utomo, has ordered his subordinate Comr. Joni Andrianto to burn the documents that had been used for travelling by A.K., J.S.T. (Djoko Soegianto Tjandra) and himself," Listyo said.
Listyo didn’t go into details but it was believed that A.K. was Anita Kolopaking, a lawyer for Djoko. Anita, Djoko and Prasetijo traveled together from Jakarta to Pontianak in late June, according to investigators.
He said Prasetijo could face corruption charge as well if the ongoing investigation found evidence of him taking bribe from Djoko.
Other Troubled Generals
The Attorney General’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for Djoko since 2009 and asked help from the Interpol in their attempt to imprison the convict.
However, it emerged recently that Djoko has been removed from the Interpol wanted list since 2014 without the consent of prosecutors.
Two other police generals were demoted for the red notice removal. They have been identified as Insp. Gen. Napoleon Bonaparte and Brig. Gen. Nugroho Slamet Wibowo.
Napoleon was the head of the International Relations and Transnational Crimes Division overseeing the National Central Bureau (NCB) of the Interpol in Jakarta, while Nugroho was the NCB Jakarta secretary.
Both men were transferred to less important job as “policy analysts” at the National Police Headquarters, but no criminal charges have been pressed against them.
“My team is still working on the case and we are open to possibilities of adding new suspects," Listyo said.
Property magnate Djoko, 68, was sentenced to two years in jail and ordered to repay Rp 546 billion ($37 million) in state losses related to the corruption scandal in the debt settlement case between Bank Bali and now-defunct the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency.
He had brokered the debt settlement and allegedly taken hundreds of billions of rupiah as payment. He had used part of the money to bribe state officials, according to prosecutors.
Djoko fled the country to live in self-imposed exile in Papua New Guinea a day before the Supreme Court ruling was issued in June 2009.