By : Erlangga Pratama *)
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Antasari Azhar accused former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) on Tuesday of being behind the murder charges that resulted in him being sentenced to 18 years in prison. Antasari claimed that Yudhoyono had instructed tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo to visit him a few weeks before his arrest to ask him not to detain former Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Aulia Pohan, who had been implemented in corruption.
Antasari said that Hari Tanoesudibyo had visited him few weeks before his arrest. He visited the police office with his lawyers to report what he said were false charges laid against him, which violated Article 218 of the Criminal Code.
Antasari spoke up after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo granted clemency to him, saying there were irregularities in the case. Antasari was released on parole after serving eight years of his sentence. The President granted him clemency not long after.
For remembering, the South Jakarta District Court sentenced Antasari to 18 years in prison in 2010 for masterminding the murder of state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran director Nasrudin Zulkarnaen. Nasrudin was killed in a drive-by shooting in Tangerang on March 14, 2009.
Meanwhile, former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono believes the government is behind the onslaught launched by former chairman of Corruption Eradication Commission Antasari Azhar against his family's image.
Yudhoyono says he felt defamed by Antasari who claimed that his murder case was the result of a plot by the then president because Antasari did not comply with Yudhoyono's instructions. Antasari has alleged Yudhoyono was behind the murder case that saw the former KPK chief end up behind bars.
"I believe it is impossible that what Antasari is doing is being done without the blessing of those in power," he said as media reported. Yudhoyono claimed the clemency for Antasari granted by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo last month was politically driven.
He added that for the past two months he had heard information that Antasari would be used to attack him and his family. The attack was obviously related to Jakarta’s gubernatorial election, especially as Antasari's claims came a day before polling day on February 15th, 2017.
It was also part of efforts to harm the electability of his eldest son Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono who is running in the Jakarta gubernatorial election, the former president alleged. "Dear ruler, be careful in using your power. Don't play with fire or you will get burned. Remember the people and be afraid of God. If a ruler is unfair, then God's justice will prevail," Yudhoyono said.
Previously, former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) was back ranting on Twitter to lash out at the alleged efforts orchestrated by the government to kill his eldest son's chances in the Jakarta gubernatorial race. Just hours after former anti-graft czar and convicted murderer Antasari Azhar told a press conference that SBY might be behind the legal case that put him in prison, he took to Twitter to defend himself. He tweeted that he believed the clemency granted by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to Antasari last month was politically driven to attack him.
"I will take legal steps against Antasari," he said adding that he would make a statement to the press on the matter. Separately, Yudhoyono's Democratic Party also filed a report with the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department against Antasari following the latter's claim of political interference in his case.
Responding to SBY-Antasari dispute, the spokesman of President, Johan Budi who was former one of KPK’s chairman said that President Jokowi and his cabinet didn’t an intervention on SBY-Antasari Azhari dispute. Johan Budi has said that whatever Antasari spoke, it was being Antasari’s responsibility.
SBY’s allegation to the current government might not proven yet based on hard facts but it makes by SBY’s opinion related to SBY’s statement such as "I believe it is impossible that what Antasari is doing is being done without the blessing of those in power," he said as media reported. Yudhoyono claimed the clemency for Antasari granted by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo last month was politically driven.
As a former Indonesian President and a former military general, SBY must have had a various sources before he has been made his statement to deny Antasari’s outspoken opinion. But, it could be predicted if SBY’s statement about Antasari’s clemency was politically driven, it would be difficult to search it facts. Because the meaning of politically driven is a full of a political motives behind Antasari’s clemency.
However, after SBY-Antasari Azhar dispute, the relationship between SBY and President Jokowi could have most worst than ever, and it could be driven a national political situation in Indonesia specially in Jakarta province will be fragile, and furthermore these situation isn’t a good political lesson for our youth generation. From this “conflict”, we could be learnt that a political communication between a post public officials and a current public officials didn’t run well.
*) The writer is a political observer and earned his master from the University of Indonesia (UI).