Antigraft Efforts in Aceh Abysmal, Activists Say

Banda Aceh, TAG. The Aceh provincial administration has failed abysmally to convict corruption suspects, a local antigraft group said on Monday, echoing a similar conclusion made in June by one of the country’s leading anticorruption organizations.

The Aceh Anti-Corruption Movement (Gerak) said that a study it conducted from 2006 into 2010 shows that prosecutors lost 14 of 25 corruption cases brought to trial, allowing 30 suspects to go free.
“This shows that the judges handling corruption cases don’t fully understand the 1999 Anti-Corruption Law,” Gerak activist Hayatuddin said.
“We question the judges’ commitment to eradicating corruption, particularly because the majority of acquitted suspects were former district heads and top local government officials.”
Hayatuddin feared the trend could continue to worsen unless sweeping reforms were made within the provincial judiciary and law enforcement agencies.
Gerak’s findings follow a June survey by Transparency International Indonesia that showed that 75 percent of 2,140 respondents polled across the province believed the administration had failed to effectively tackle corruption.
Of the respondents, 19 percent believed the administration had been highly ineffective.
Meanwhile, 38 percent of respondents said the provincial administration was the most corrupt public institution in Aceh, followed by the police force and the provincial legislature.
The TII study also revealed the opinion that the implementation of Shariah law in the staunchly Islamic province had done nothing to address the issue of graft.
Some 48 percent of respondents said Shariah law had been ineffective in dealing with graft, and 15 percent believed it actually fostered corruption.
Hayatuddin blamed the province’s growing acquittal trend on “manipulations inside the courts of Aceh,” which he said were fostered by a “high level of corruption” within the provincial court system.
“The behavior of the judges is still thick with indications of corruption, and there is a strong presence of a judicial mafia operating within the bureaucratic system in Aceh,” Hayatuddin said.[]
Antigraft Efforts in Aceh Abysmal, Activists Say Antigraft Efforts in Aceh Abysmal, Activists Say Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on July 09, 2010 Rating: 5

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