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Sep '00

Drop probe into justices: Court

The South Jakarta District Court ordered the Joint Anti-Corruption Team (TGPTPK) on Friday to drop its corruption investigation into two justices of the Supreme Court, saying that the team has acted beyond its authority.

Judge Rusmandani approved the demand of the two justices — Supraptini Sutarto and Marnis Kahar — to declare the investigation invalid because ofquestions about the legality of the team’s work.

He said the court was not against the drive to eradicate corruption, but insisted that it must stay within the legal corridors.

The team, set up by a presidential decree in May, announced on Aug. 21 that following its investigation, three serving and retired justices had accepted bribes totaling Rp 196 million ($22,500) during a land conflict hearing last year.

The third person who was implicated, retired justice M. Yahya Harahap, did not join the motion to file suit against TGPTPK, but all three have denied the corruption accusations.

M. Silaban, a member and spokesman for the team, told reporters it planned to file an appeal with the Supreme Court against the decision.

In spite of the ruling, the team would continue to investigate corruptioncases, he said.

The team has made it a priority to eradicate corruption in the judicial system, including the Supreme Court and district courts.

The team was established following the enactment of the 1999 law on corruption as a provisional body until the establishment of an anticorruption commission in 2002.

According to the law, the team — comprising police, state prosecutors and people from the legal profession — is empowered to conduct investigations and to prosecute suspects. It can also seize evidence and tap telephone lines.

Sumber : (01) The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

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