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The Indonesian parliament has amended the law on Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission to reduce its independence. This amendment will have an impact on anti-bribery and 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.
The KPK Amendment removes the KPK’s power to investigate and prosecute violations deemed in the public interest. However, the Commission retains the power to investigate and prosecute cases that involve the state apparatus and law enforcement, or that involve state losses in excess of a 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.
The KPK is now empowered 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 until 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 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 there will be further developments, and will provide further updates as they occur.