Chief detective refuses to declare his wealth

Indonesia’s chief police detective Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso has declined to declare his wealth to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) amid a feud between the two institutions.

Budi Waseso, the head of the National Police’s criminal investigations department, challenged the KPK to launch an investigation if it suspects that he might have amassed assets illegally.

“I do not want to report. Ask the KPK to fill in the wealth declaration form,” Budi Waseso was quoted as saying in the local media.

Budi said that it would be more objective if the commission could look into his wealth instead of relying on his declaration.

He argued that failure to declare wealth was not a crime.

In a controversial move, vice president Jusuf Kalla defended Budi’s decision.

Kalla said Budi was a simple person who did not have a lot of wealth and that it was therefore no problem if he did not publicly declare his wealth.

Budi Waseso is the main figure behind the arrest of a senior investigator at the KPK, Novel Baswedan, earlier in May.

Novel was picked up from his house and taken for questioning as a suspect in a criminal case that dates back when he was a police officer in Bengkulu in  2004, police said. He was later released and is now suing the police.

The police tried to arrest Novel in 2012 as he was leading a corruption investigation into a bribery case involving the former head of the police traffic department, Djoko Susilo, but relented after an outpouring of public support for him, and an order from then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to freeze the case.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has been under increased attack from the national police after it named Budi Gunawan, now deputy national police chief, as a suspect in a corruption case earlier this year. A court later ruled the KPK decision illegal.

Pressure on the KPK has come despite repeated appeals by President Joko Widodo for harmonious relations between the two law-enforcement agencies.

Two of KPK leaders have been suspended and are facing trial in cases that many believe to be fabricated by police.

The police force is seen by many in Indonesia as one of the most corrupt institutions in a country that ranks 107 out of 175 on Transparency International’s 2014 corruption index.

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