Batam Prosecutor Pulled After Failing to Drop Case

by Heru Andriyanto

The chief prosecutor ..." /> Batam Prosecutor Pulled After Failing to Drop Case

by Heru Andriyanto

The chief prosecutor ...">
Batam Prosecutor Pulled After Failing to Drop Case

by Heru Andriyanto

The chief prosecutor in Batam has been removed from his post after he refused to abandon a case investigating alleged graft in the local government, although the Attorney General’s Office insisted on Tuesday that it was merely a routine transfer.

Prosecutor Tatang Sutarna said in a telephone interview that his office had been investigating the alleged misappropriation of about Rp 4.5 billion ($500,000) from the Batam city budget.

According to a preliminary investigation by prosecutors, the funds had been allocated for places of worship and orphanages from Rp 23 billion intended for social assistance programs. But the money never reached the recipients despite receipts presented by city officials.

Prosecutors suspected corruption was involved in the case and began a formal investigation, at which time the Batam administration responded by sending an official request for prosecutors to halt the probe.

Tatang refused to comply with the request, citing that the investigation had already been upgraded, but on Monday received notice that he was being transferred to a new post at the AGO, which he declined to elaborate on.

“The decree for my removal was issued after I refused a request from the Batam city government to drop the corruption case,” Tatang said.

“The case will continue until my replacement formally takes over my job. After that, it’s up to my successor to decide to continue with it. But if he follows procedures, he too must continue with the investigation.”

Deputy Attorney General Darmono denied suggestions that Tatang’s transfer had been based on his refusal to drop the case.

“We routinely rotate our prosecutors,” he said. “The reports [linking the removal with the case] are not valid. Instead, the AGO is encouraging the completion of the case.”

The transfer was also not a demotion, because Tatang would still retain his chief prosecutor position in his new posting, Darmono added, although declining to say where Tatang would next be posted.

In a similar case several years ago, a senior prosecutor with the Jakarta prosecutors’ office, Faried Haryanto, was sidelined after he refused to drop a corruption case related to the sale of a sugar factory in Gorontalo province in Sulawesi by the now-defunct National Banking Restructuring Board (BPPN). The case was eventually abandoned by the AGO.
<span style="font-size: 14pt"><span style="font-weight: bold">Batam Prosecutor Pulled After Failing to Drop Case</span></span><br /> <br /> by Heru Andriyanto<br /> <br /> The chief prosecutor in Batam has been removed from his post after he refused to abandon a case investigating alleged graft in the local government, although the Attorney General&rsquo;s Office insisted on Tuesday that it was merely a routine transfer.<br /> <br /> Prosecutor Tatang Sutarna said in a telephone interview that his office had been investigating the alleged misappropriation of about Rp 4.5 billion ($500,000) from the Batam city budget.<br /> <br /> According to a preliminary investigation by prosecutors, the funds had been allocated for places of worship and orphanages from Rp 23 billion intended for social assistance programs. But the money never reached the recipients despite receipts presented by city officials.<br /> <br /> Prosecutors suspected corruption was involved in the case and began a formal investigation, at which time the Batam administration responded by sending an official request for prosecutors to halt the probe.<br /> <br /> Tatang refused to comply with the request, citing that the investigation had already been upgraded, but on Monday received notice that he was being transferred to a new post at the AGO, which he declined to elaborate on.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The decree for my removal was issued after I refused a request from the Batam city government to drop the corruption case,&rdquo; Tatang said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The case will continue until my replacement formally takes over my job. After that, it&rsquo;s up to my successor to decide to continue with it. But if he follows procedures, he too must continue with the investigation.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Deputy Attorney General Darmono denied suggestions that Tatang&rsquo;s transfer had been based on his refusal to drop the case.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We routinely rotate our prosecutors,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The reports [linking the removal with the case] are not valid. Instead, the AGO is encouraging the completion of the case.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The transfer was also not a demotion, because Tatang would still retain his chief prosecutor position in his new posting, Darmono added, although declining to say where Tatang would next be posted.<br /> <br /> In a similar case several years ago, a senior prosecutor with the Jakarta prosecutors&rsquo; office, Faried Haryanto, was sidelined after he refused to drop a corruption case related to the sale of a sugar factory in Gorontalo province in Sulawesi by the now-defunct National Banking Restructuring Board (BPPN). The case was eventually abandoned by the AGO.<br />
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated
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