Members of the Corruption Eradication Commission’s oversight body, from left: Syamsuddin Haris, Harjono, Artidjo Alkostar, Tumpak Hatorangan Panggabean and Albertina Ho pose for a photo at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Friday. (B1 Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)

Tough Veteran Judges Among Members of KPK's Maiden Oversight Body

DECEMBER 20, 2019

Jakarta. The first-ever oversight body of the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, was inaugurated on Friday, with two veteran judges known for their courtroom firmness and courage named members along with legal experts and a former KPK chairman.

Former Supreme Court justice Artidjo Alkostar and East Nusa Tenggara High Court judge 
Albertina Ho were appointed by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo as members of the oversight body as the government started to implement the amended law on KPK.

The two were joined by former KPK chairman Tumpak Hatorangan Panggabean, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) researcher Syamsuddin Haris and Election Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP) chairman Harjono.

Tumpak, who briefly led the KPK in 2009-2010 and was its deputy chairman in 2003-2007, will chair the oversight body for the next four years.

Albertina, 59, gained widespread publicity in 2010-2011 when she presided over the trials of tax official Gayus Tambunan in a corruption scandal that implicated many big names in the National Police and the Attorney General’s Office. 

The judge's fearlessness in interrogating high-profile witnesses and suspects in the South Jakarta District Court earned her public respect.

"This is an order. When duty calls, as a citizen, I must be ready," Albertina told reporters about her new role.

Artidjo meanwhile has built a reputation of being an uncompromising judge, especially when dealing with graft defendants seeking to overturn guilty verdicts at the Supreme Court.

Even KPK Chairman Agus Raharjo, a staunch critic of the oversight body, has welcomed Artidjo in his new role.

"It's good to have Mr. Artidjo, we all know him as a reputable person," Agus said on Wednesday.

The oversight body is tasked with overseeing the work of KPK investigators, and has the power to issue permits for wiretaps, searches and asset seizures.

Many anti-graft activists have voiced their opposition to the oversight body on the grounds that it would potentially cripple the KPK and erode the agency's independence.