Trial by media: Jakarta Post condemns Antasari before courts

Just a couple of days ago a reader of the Jakarta Post sms’d a message to the paper, chiding it for forsaking the principle of “presumption of innocence”.

Today, as if the editors themselves do not read their own readers page, the Jakarta Post called former Anthasari Azhar the “disgraced” Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman.

Disgraced? What a cavalier word to use. In what way has Antasari been disgraced? Just because the police and Attorney General’s office – two institutions who would have good reason to see him go – are tripping over themselves trying to convict him of murder?

Does this make Antasari disgraced? Surely not, if you believe in the principle of presumption of innocence, where a man is held innocent until he is convicted by a court of law. The police and public prosecutors, fine fellows they may be, are not infallible. They have been known to bark up the wrong tree and to press charges against the wrong person. Or not be able to make their case stick in court.

Antsari is beleaguered, yes and it would be fair to describe him as such but to say that he is disgraced is disgraceful.

Also disgraceful is the haste in which lawmakers and the media advance the argument that a quick replacement for Antasari would enure that the KPK continues its good work of fighting corruption.

Putting a new person on the helm may not do the trick if serious doubts exist of Antasari’s culpability. No one, save perhaps the police and prosecutors, know with a great level of certainty whether Antasari is guilty of murdering businessman Nasruddin over his caddy third wife. The case has to go through the due process of law and the truth would out only during a court hearing.

Until then nobody is sure what are the motives and agenda of the players. This uncertainty gives some credence to the theory that Antasari may have been framed because he was stepping on too many toes.

So long as this doubt exists, Unspun would argue, it would be an obstacle for anyone taking over Antasari’s position as head of the KPK to do their job well. This is because that person will be living in fear. If Antasari was framed then the bad guys got to him. If they can get to him, they can get to anyone.

The Jakarta Post would do well to keep impartial about Antasari until more is known. In the meantime, it could do some snooping and investigation of its own to answer the troubling questions surrounding this case, such as who and why was behind the haste with which the police and prosecutors pronounced Antasari a suspect instead of a witness; and how did the confusion over his status arise.

Also, why would someone from the KPK, that uses SMS as evidence (as in the case of Billy Sindoro and KPPU commissioner M. Iqbal) be so stupid as to send a threatening SMS to Nasruding before allegedly bumping him off?

clipped from

House calls for new anticorruption chief

The Jakarta Post ,  JAKARTA   |  Wed, 05/06/2009 9:33 AM  |  Headlines

The legislature is seeking to immediately replace disgraced Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Antasari Azhar, who has been detained by police for his alleged role in the murder of a businessman.

The move came as another distraction for the House of Representatives, which is racing against time to finish a corruption court bill by its December deadline.

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2 thoughts on “Trial by media: Jakarta Post condemns Antasari before courts

Add yours

  1. jangan menghukum seseorang yang belum bersalah dan jangan menjab seseorang sebelum orang itu terbukti bersalah.



    Antasari Azhar memang fenomenal. Menyala bagai api, melompat dari hati, membakar hangus koruptor lalu jatuh, menghilang menjadi abu. Hancur nama dan karirnya. Dia tersangka aktor intelektual pembunuhan Nasrudin, dengan latar cinta segitiga.

    Benarkah pembunuh Nasrudin adalah Antasari??!!

    Lepas dari persoalan pro dan kontra persoalan itu, ini adalah hasrat permasalahan cinta.

    Cinta… selalu menghidangkan suatu madah tersendiri di segala lapisan masyarakat. Cinta selalu menguak rahasia alam dan misteri keabadian. Seperti tertulis dalam kisah Julius Caesar-Cleopatra, Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinski, Yahya Zaini-Maria Eva, Al Amin-Eifel, kini Antasari-Rani, semua berlatar belakang cinta.

    Cinta telah membutakan mata meraka. Bagai setangkai mawar mekar indah, namun disekelilingnya dibangun pagai berduri. Mereka membabat habis pagar itu tanpa membiarkan ia berjalan dalam prosesi cinta.

    Dari semua permasalahan,cinta selalu menampakkan fragment kekakuan, tiap-tiap segi permasalahan cinta membawa derita, memojokkan manusia menuju kehidupan yang serba fana.

    Julius Cesar akhirnya hidup sendiri ditinggal mati Cleopatra, Al-amin dihukum 10 tahun penjara kemudian bercerai dengan kristina. Kini Antasari membunuh Nasrudin dengan latar cinta pula

    Berkaca dari permasalahan itu semua, Mungkin kita harus belajar kembali apa itu cinta??!! seorang pujangga Yunani, Plato pernah berkata, bahwa cinta yang murni adalah cinta yang bebas dari pengaruh nafsu kekelaminan. Ajaran cinta ini dikatakan olehnya cinta para Dewata.

    Pertanyaan besar dalam diri kita. Akankah kita harus kembali mengamalkan yang telah lama punah itu??!!



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