Senior antigraft investigator Novel Baswedan says the acid attack that severely injured his eyes three months ago has strengthened his determination to do more in Indonesia's anticorruption drive.(Antara Photo/Aprillio Akbar)

Injured Antigraft Investigator Has the Courage of His Convictions


JULY 26, 2017

Jakarta. Senior antigraft investigator Novel Baswedan says the acid attack that severely injured his eyes three months ago has strengthened his determination to do more in Indonesia's anticorruption drive.

The remarks come amid a prolonged investigation by the Jakarta Police into what activists have described as an act of terror against the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

In early April, two men on a motorcycle threw acid on Novel's face near his home in South Jakarta.

Appearing in a video released to the press on Tuesday (25/07), Novel said: "As those who attempted to attack me hoped to hamper graft eradication, I want to show them it's a forlorn hope."

"They won't get what they want," Novel said composedly in the two-minute video recorded by Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, leader of the youth wing of Indonesia's second-largest Muslim group Muhammadiyah, who met with Novel on Monday in Singapore.

Since the acid attack, Novel has been in Singapore where he is receiving medical treatment.

He underwent eye surgery in mid-May, but to date the condition of his left eye is not showing improvement. He is going to face another surgery in the weeks to come.

On July 20, 100 days after the attack, the antigraft agency's commissioners and hundreds of its officials gathered alongside Novel's wife at the KPK headquarters in South Jakarta to pray for his recovery.

Novel was leading a KPK investigation into a graft case surrounding the procurement of electronic identity cards, or e-KTP, which has allegedly implicated dozens of top government officials and lawmakers.

Several coordination meetings with police have been held by the KPK with regard to the prolonged investigation into the attack. Officers have questioned more than 50 witnesses, at least three of whom were earlier arrested, but then released due to "insufficient evidence."

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian came to the KPK headquarters in late June to discuss developments in the inquiry.