The Future of Corruption in Papua

1190_isu-korupsi-3-pejabat-disbudpar-papua-barat-dilapor-ke-jaksa-300x222Andawat– register book in prison guards’ quarter of Abepura penitentiary notes that the facility is inhabited by 350 inmates. 25 people of them are convicted criminal of corruption case, while 26 people are in custody of corruption case, in total; there are 51 inmates of corruption case. The number, however, is bigger than inmates of treason case which is only 14 people.

The number of inmates in corruption cases of Abepura penitentiary is excluding people suspected in corruption cases who still being able to breathe the air of freedom. Some of the freely suspects are people who their judicial process halted in investigation stage. Some others are people who already convicted but not yet arrested under the reason that they are still in the process of appealing to the court. The number of corruption case suspects and convicts will bigger if inmates from other penitentiaries in Papua Province and West Papua Province, as well as, the number of corruption cases’ suspects who are still under investigation process being added.

Jokingly, a staff in regional office of the department of Law and Human Rights of Papua Province stated that the corruption-case inmates in all penitentiaries in two provinces could create a government by themselves. He refers to the high number of inmates that are mostly officials of government’s institutions and their private partners in prisons.

An official of the Papua High Prosecutor Office, Assistant of Attorney of Special Crime, Nikolaus Kondomo, stated that the handling of corruption cases in Papua and West Papua provinces has been increasing during the year of 2012-2014. In 2012, the number of corruption cases was around 14 cases. In 2013 it was increasing to 59 cases, and will continually increasing in 2014 (Papua Pos, 13 Feb, 2014). Moreover, he stated that it would not be an exaggeration if he claims that Papua and West Papua are heavens for corruptors.

The tendency of increasing number of perpetrators of corruption is still very possible. There are many cases currently undergoing investigations by state prosecutor office, especially in the Papua High Prosecutor Office. Those cases include old cases that have been pacified in the past due to some political considerations, and new cases that involve some high officers in local government and their cronies.

Opportunity for corruption also lays in tradition. Papua has a tradition of giving gifts and helps as a token of good relationship from one individual to another. The gesture is expected especially from the elites of a community to their subordinates. However, the practice is unparallel with the practice of modern governance system. Kinship system is unacceptable in modern bureaucratic system. Such tradition has opened a chance to abuse of authority by political and bureaucratic leaders in the region. Moreover, some people are exploiting the tradition practices to enrich themselves.

The flood of money to Papua Province and West Papua Province and the enormous support to conduct good governance from many stakeholders are in fact, parallel with the increasing index of corruption in the two provinces. The total lost that the region has to suffer is uncalculated. Reports that claimed the significant change of people well-being and good governance were based on imagination. Those reports were made to please funders.

Oxford Dictionary (1993) defines corruption as irregularities, or damage of integrity, in execution of public duties by bribery or logrolling. While the World Bank (2008)defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain.

Elements of corruption are as follows; first, action of taking, hiding, and obscuring of communities’ or state’s properties. Second, action that against the norms. Third, abuse of power, authority or mandate. Fourth, action intends to benefit the actor, relatives of the actor, or some specific agencies. Fifth, action that harms other elements of the society or harms the country.

In juridical definition, corruption is explained in 13 articles in the Law number 31, 1999, in conjunction with Law number 20, 2001. Those articles explain in detail about the criminal acts that can be worn in prison for corruption. Corruption defines in thirty action of crimes which can be categorize as state losses, bribery, embezzlement in office, extortion, cheating, conflict of interest in procurement, gratuities (KPK, 2006: 19-20)

Law number 20, 2001, defines corruption as unlawful act with intention to enrich the actor, others, or corporations in which resulting financial harm to the state or national economy. There are nine categories of corruption which are; bribery, illegal profit, secret transaction, gift, grant, embezzlement, collusion, nepotism, and misuse of authority and state facility.

The broadening of definition and category of corruption is expected to encourage prudential of the authority holders. As civil servants, the authority holders are expected to be honest, careful and professional. However, even though the category of corruption has been broadening, the tendencies of civil servants’ involvement in corruption are increasing. Many corruption suspects claimed that they did not understand their actions has been categorized as corruption.

Corruption crime always invites polemics. State apparatus suspected in corruption crime tend to exploit their power in combating the allegations. They use their personal relationship to other people, or money to get away from their crime. As the result, the justice system works in indefinite time frame. In fact, there were some people who elected for a governmental position and carried out their official duty despite that they had been indicted as suspects in corruption cases. In other cases, corruption suspects were given a prison release under many reasons such as sickness.

The court trials sometimes also tainted with some “secret lobbies known to everyone”. As the result, trial could go in uncertainties. Such uncertainty was, for example, the attorney can change his/her indictment during a trial proceeding. An indictment could change from a hard indictment, in a prior session of the trial, to a lesser indictment in latter sessions of the trial. Other cases, the defendant could get a suspension of imprisonment or detention transfer in the middle of trial proceedings.

A circular of the Indonesian Supreme Court number 12, 2010 on the imposition of weight and worth penalties for corruption crime has corroborated a previous circular of the Indonesian Supreme Court, the circular number 1, 2010. The first circular commands that judges render earnest decisions to the cases that gain public attention, especially corruption cases. The highlight of the command is that corruption in Indonesia has been conducted systemically to an extent scale, therefore; unconventional manner is needed to handle the matter. Moreover, the criminal justice process should become a deterrent effect for the future perpetrators. Criminal punishment must be appropriate and commensurate, and not only minimum punishment, but also, have to take into account the level of crime and potential state losses caused by the defendant,

In corruption crime cases, from the beginning of the investigation, the investigators should be able to distinguish the level of involvement of the suspects. They have to conduct a procedure namely qualifying of involvement (deelneming/complicity) which consist of; the executants (pleger), the mastermind (doenpleger), the participants (medelpleger), and the persuades (uitloker). Apart from that, in the end of the trial, when imposing punishment, the judge should consider the losses endured by the state. In this respect, should the state endure 5 million rupiah of lost; the punishment bears by the defendant should not be the same as other defendant who caused 5 billion losses to the state.

In general, the handling of corruption cases should be monitored since the beginning in order to avoid abuse of power by the criminal justice system apparatus; the police, the prosecutors, the judges and also the defendants’ lawyers and advocates.

Consequently, in order to prevent corruption, the justice system should carry out a robust and firm law which in turn will give deterrent effect to the future perpetrators. In this respect, law as means of social engineering (Roscoe Pound theory) should be performed. In the end, the purpose of sentencing to impose sanctions on offenders and prevent similar offenses in the future can be achieved.(Andawat)