Indonesian President Pledges Police Reform

Jakarta Globe, August 31, 2010         

Jakarta. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promised on Tuesday to replace Indonesia's much-maligned chiefs of police and prosecutors but denied the reshuffle was linked to corruption and incompetence.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in this file photo,
 pledged on Tuesday to replace the chiefs of police and
 prosecutors but denied that the moves were political.
 (Bloomberg Photo/Ian Waldie)          
     
His comments to cabinet ministers came as businessman Anggodo Widjojo was sentenced to four years in jail for attempting to bribe anti-graft investigators with the alleged backing of top police and prosecutors.

The case shocked the nation when it broke last year but it was far from an isolated incident, with reports of alleged judicial graft and misconduct filling the pages of the newspapers on a daily basis.

Yudhoyono said the law enforcement agencies needed to be professional and "fair", and called for any official found to be involved in wrongdoing to be punished.

"If any police members or prosecutors are involved in any violations, measures should be taken against them according to the law with transparency and high accountability," he said.

National police chief General Bambang Hendarso Danuri and Attorney General Hendarman Supandji would be replaced along with the head of the armed forces as part of a scheduled reshuffle, he said.

"These officials will end their terms in line with the existing law," he said, adding that he was "not pleased" by suggestions the changes were political.

The reshuffle is expected to take place in October and speculation is mounting about who will take over the embattled institutions.

Yudhoyono has won two elections on the back of promises to stamp out chronic corruption but his reform efforts have stalled amid opposition from vested interests including lawmakers and police.

Agence France-Presse

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