Indonesia Anti-Graft Agency Retains Legal Power for Wiretapping

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Indonesia’s anti-corruption body retains its right to wiretap those suspected of corruption as part of an investigation, the constitutional court has ruled.

Published late on Tuesday, the decision addressed concerns that the 2019 revision of the law, which led to the establishment of a supervisory board for the agency, had weakened its power to carry out investigations. The court still ruled the overall amendment was constitutional and upheld an article that said corruption cases that can’t be concluded in two years must be dropped.

“Wiretapping, searches and/or confiscation are the powers given by law to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in the implementation of the judicial process,” according to the ruling.

The 2019 amendment to the 18-year-old law, under which the anti-corruption agency was established, came under mounting protests from the nation’s anti-graft watchdog and rights groups who fear that it could hinder the fight against corruption. The Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is ranked 102nd out of 180 on Transparency International’s global corruption index last year.

Read more: Indonesia Pursues $7.5B Worth of Assets From 1998 Bank Bailouts

Indonesia Corruption Watch has said that the parliament and President Joko Widodo rushed through the changes. The non-government group also said the move will open door for “the intervention from the executive and legislative in KPK’s functioning.”

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