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Rules Set to Change for Corruption Investigations in Indonesia

On 17 September, Indonesia’s parliament passed an amendment to the law on Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) (the “KPK Amendment”). We summarise the key changes below.

Jurisdiction

The KPK Amendment removes the KPK’s power to investigate and prosecute violations where this is deemed in the public interest. However, the Commission retains the power to investigate and prosecute cases involving the state apparatus and law enforcement, or state losses in excess of one billion rupiah (US$70,000).

Interception, seizure and raids

The KPK now requires approval from a soon-to-be-established supervisory board to perform certain acts.

The Commission’s authority to intercept and record communications such as phone calls, messages, chats and other information transmitted electronically now requires prior approval from the supervisory board, which will be provided within 24 hours of the request. The results of these interceptions must remain confidential and may only be used for anti-corruption prosecutions.

In exercising its investigative powers, the KPK’s authority to seize evidence and conduct searches and raids now requires approval from the supervisory board. Previously, the KPK was able to seize evidence without approval from the district court head (as required under Indonesia’s criminal procedural law), provided there was sufficient preliminary evidence.

Case termination

The KPK is now authorised to end investigations and prosecutions where the case has already taken two years but has not yet been completed. However, a terminated case may later be resumed if new evidence is discovered or if required by a pretrial decision.

Date of effectiveness

The KPK Amendment will not take effect until ratified by Indonesia’s president, or 30 days after parliament’s approval of the bill. When the change comes into effect, it will apply to all future and any ongoing investigations and prosecutions.

Other changes

Other changes in the KPK Amendment relate to the KPK’s internal structure, including the status of its employees, and its role as an organ of the state.

The KPK is described as an “executive” organ of the state. This could give rise to confusion over what that means in practice, considering the broad regulatory and enforcement powers the KPK will retain after the KPK Amendment takes effect. The bill adds that, in carrying out its tasks and duties, the KPK will act as an independent body free from interference from any other institution, including any other executive organ of the state.

We expect further developments, and will provide updates when they happen.

Key Contacts