Jakarta rallies a sign of desperation in the KPK-Police struggle?

Does anyone else smell the same whiff of desperation in the air as Unspun? One would think that there are people in Indonesia who still think that rent-a-crowds would convince the public that public opinion is behind them.

Such people live in a world of their own divorced from reality. Technology has rendered much of the opaque business of gauging public opinion transparent. We all not only would know if the Emperor has no clothes but we can publish it online, and have it amplified by other onliners.

Nine Rallies In Jakarta on Thursday, Traffic Delays Expected

Nine rallies are scheduled for Jakarta on Thursday and will likely cause traffic delays.

According to Jakarta Police’s Traffic Management Center, the first demonstration began at 9 a.m. at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle. A second rally was held outside the Supreme Court building at Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara at the same time.

The State Palace, which is located on the same street as the Supreme Court, will be the site of three rallies that will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Groups of activists will come to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) at 10 a.m. and will march to the Presidential Advisory Board office. A different group of activists will also hold a rally at Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and march to the front of the National Police Headquarters on Jalan Trunojoyo in South Jakarta.

At 10:30 a.m. demonstrators will rally in front of the Chinese Embassy on Jalan Rasuna Said. Later in the afternoon activists will hold a rally at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

There is also a rally planned at the office of the representative of North Maluku on Jalan Cempaka Putih, Central Jakarta, and a hunger strike planned at the KPK building.


A tale of two legal cases: Anggodo and Prita Mulyasari

Update: Apparently the Viva news story before was incorrect. Antara reports Polri as having said that Anggodo hasn’t been declared a suspect yet here.

So we going forward, backwards, or sideways?


Two contrasting recipients of justice in Indonesia. We going forward, backward or sideways?

In Viva news:

Kasus KPK
Akhirnya Anggodo Jadi Tersangka
Eddy Sumarsono dan Ari Muladi diperiksa untuk tersangkan Anggodo Widjojo.
Rabu, 18 November 2009, 13:31 WIB
Ismoko Widjaya, Desy Afrianti
Anggodo Widjojo (VIVAnews/Nurcholis Anhari Lubis)

VIVAnews – Markas Besar Polri ‘diam-diam’ sudah menetapkan Anggodo Widjojo menjadi tersangka. Penetapan tersangka Anggodo ini sudah dilanjutkan dengan pemeriksaan Eddy Sumarsono dan Ary Muladi.

“Kami memeriksa (Eddy Sumarsono dan Ari Muladi) dengan tersangkanya Anggodo,” kata Direktur Ekonomi dan Khusus Bareskrim Polri, Komisaris Besar Polisi Raja Erizman di Gedung DPR, Jakarta, Rabu 18 November 2009.

Menurut dia, Eddy Sumarsono dan Ari Muladi diperiksa untuk tersangka Anggodo Widjojo, adik buron Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) Anggoro Widjojo.

In The Jakarta Globe:

Prita Mulyasari appearing during her first trial at the Tangerang District Court. (Photo: Safir Makki, JG)

Prita Mulyasari appearing during her first trial at the Tangerang District Court. (Photo: Safir Makki, JG)

Prosecutors Recommend Six Months Jail For Prita Mulyasari Defamation Case

District prosecutors in Tangerang on Wednesday recommended a sentence of six months in jail for Prita Mulyasari, who is standing trial for an infamous defamation case brought against her by two doctors at an upscale hospital in the Jakarta suburb.

“We are handling a very difficult case because of growing public opinion that the defendant is not guilty, regardless of the fact that the trial has not yet concluded,” said prosecutor Riyadi in his opening remarks.

“But justice must not bow to pressures only because the defendant has support from so many Facebookers or whatever,” he said.

“We recommend that the defendant, Prita Mulyasari, be found guilty of defamation… and be sentenced to six months in jail,” Riyadi told the court.

The famous Lucas comes out of the woodwork

When it comes to litigation and courtroom maneuvering the name Lucas often pops up. He was involved in the case some years ago that saw insurance giant Manulife declared bankrupt. He was also involved in many court cases and his legal opponents usually cast a wary eye when he’s involved in a case because of his imaginative use of the law and legal institutions.

So its not surprising to see Lucas popping up in the KPK-Police-AGO-Bank Century imbroglio . What other big names will emerge?


Lucas Akui Cari Susno Terkait Century

via KOMPAS.Com – Lucas Akui Cari Susno Terkait Century.

KAMIS, 12 NOVEMBER 2009 | 14:47 WIB

Laporan wartawan KOMPAS.com Caroline Damanik

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com — Pengacara Budi Sampoerna, Lucas, mengaku dirinyalah yang berinisiatif menghubungi Kabareskrim Komjen Susno Duadji terkait upaya pencairan dana kliennya sebesar 18 juta dollar AS di Bank Century.

“Saya yang mencari dan menghubungi beliau karena beliau Kabareskrim supaya bisa mendapat kepastian hukum, karena saya membela kepentingan klien saya. Kepastian supaya yang 18 juta dollar itu bisa dicairkan,” tutur Lucas yang gagal menemui Tim Delapan di Kantor Wantimpres, Kamis (12/11).

Hal ini ditempuh Lucas karena manajemen baru Bank Century pada saat itu mengharuskan para deposan untuk memiliki surat klarifikasi dari Mabes Polri jika uangnya hendak dicairkan.

“Ini aneh, kalau manajemen baru minta klarifikasi, ini kan aneh. Di sini, Polri sudah bekerja keras memberantas tindak pidana yang ada di Century sampai kita dengar ada jejak uang sebesar Rp 12 triliun sudah diketahui. Tapi kalau ini diobok-obok terus dengan oknum-oknum yang tidak jelas, kalau ini berhenti sampai kapan uang itu akan kembali ke Indonesia. Itu kan uang negara,” lanjutnya.

Lucas juga membantah adanya pertemuan antara dirinya, Susno, Budi Sampoerna, dan anaknya Suyanto di Hotel Ambhara sebelumnya, seperti yang terekam dalam video yang dimiliki KPK. “Enggak ada itu. Pertemuan awal saya enggak merasa ada pertemuan istimewa itu,” tandasnya.

The Cicak who could

After experiencing a viral attack on our old host, Maverick shifted our blog to another host and it’s finally working again. We’re tweaking the blog but here’s something that I posted on on the resurrected blog this morning:

Lessons for Business in the Cicak-Buaya fight

There is a valuable lesson for Business in the conflict between the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Police Force.

It is a lesson of what to do when a seemingly vulnerable institution is threatened by a powerful one. It is the story of how, in Indonesian terms, the cicak (gecko) managed to stand its ground against the bullying buaya (crocodile).

Compared to the Police, which has wide ranging powers and seemingly unlimited resources , the KPK’s influence and power is miniscule. So when it came under attack from the police for alleged corruption among its commissioners, the KPK was in a quandary.

If the KPK was a business entity it would most likely hire an expensive lawyer, engage some lobbyists to probe who could be mollified to settle the issue, and then hunker down in silence. It would also have gone into denial, treating the matter as a pure legal issue and hope that the truth would set them free in a court of law.

If the KPK had done all these, they would have been finished by now.

Read more here.


Police watch: The Chief’s timepiece

Several Unspun readers wrote in to express curiosity and admiration of the timepiece worn by Police Chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri, as seen on his left hand in yesterday’s front page of Koran Tempo.

Unspun thought it was an Officine Panerai. One reader said it was a Richard Mille but another reader checked the watchmaker’s catalogue and found no such watches.

Whatever it is, the watch, which appears a bit out of focus in the photograph, is a handsome piece of horology and no doubt reflect the owner’s exquisite sense of taste.

Unspun wonders if any reader might be able to identify it correctly.

The solidarity handshake between Susno and Bambang?

Unspun was lunching with the corporate communications chiefs of one of Indonesia’s largest and most respected companies when the conversation turned to the Polri-KPK fracas. He shook his head and asked how could the Police commit PR suicide so often and constantly over the past few weeks.

“Who’s advising them on the PR?” he asked. “It’s a disaster.” Unspun replied that they probably didn’t have anyone competent advising them, otherwise they would not be in such dire straits.

Today, the straits widened. Splashed on the front pages of newspapers was the photo (like the one below in Seputar Indonesia) of  “Buaya-Cicak” originator and the man discredited by the recent tapes released by the KPK, Chief of Detectives Susno Duadji heartily doing the “commando shake” with Police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri.

What message does this image send of the Police?

Unspun has no idea what went through the Police and Police Chief’s mind but the message that most people would take away from that photo, especially when accompanied by headlines such as “Susno’s resignation only temporary”, is that the Police have struck a deal with Susno to protect him from the fallout from the KPK tapes.

Susno, in photographs and video, comes across as a thoroughly unlikeable character. His appearance on TV, testifying before Commission III, gives the appearance of  an unctuous and arrogant man so amoral he does not realize that he may have done any wrong. In the testimony he glared at the camera with his eyeballs almost hidden by his upper eyelids, giving him a sinister air.

That, and given his Buaya-Cicak outburst, as well as arrogant statements over the past few weeks should mark him out as someone that the current Police Chief Bambang should avoid being seen with. In PR terms he is poison. Touch him or get near him and your image dies.

Bambang should have been told by his aides and advisers not to be seen together with Susno, much less to shake hands with him. But he did and as such his image and the image of the Police has been tarnished further as the public sees this unsavory character looking contentedly truimphant as he shakes the hand of the Police Chief.

This is a pity because Bambang seems a decent sort of fellow. Continue reading “The solidarity handshake between Susno and Bambang?”

Facebook wars over KPK

Forget Mafia Wars. This is infinitely more gripping. Besides it’s a real conflict involving the institutions that have the whole nation agog over the past few days and easily accessible through your Facebook account.

See how social media is being used — either in a concerted way by organizations or spontaneously by individuals — in the KPK-Police/Attorney General’s Office confrontation. This is an episode which is made all the more interesting because the Vice President of Indonesia @boediono has Twittered to ask who this Evan is. Go figure! (Why is the VP asking for information on Twitter when the intelligence services should be at his beck and call?)

The screen grab below is from the posting of a contact in Facebook. Apparently Evan is a Brimob member who had a posting in his Facebook page saying “Polri does not need society but society needs Polri…forward with the Indonesian Police, bury alive the small geckos…”

The response from one other Facebooker (below) was  a posting with screen grabs of Evan’s Facebook with lots of contacts “tagged” with the following comment: “This is Evan Brimob who is arrogant and opposes the citizenry, degrading healthy thinking and contemptuous of the defense of the truth. Spread this photo and search Evan Brimob and send him a message that his arrogance will unleash the people’s antipathy toward the police who have already exposed their rottenness”.

How will this play out? Log into your Facebook account and find out…


It’s now out in the open: Mediacare curator says he’s representing Billy

There is one lesson that those who dabble in the blogosphere and the Net should never forget: there is nowhere to hide.

It’s OK to advocate something, its OK to be passionate and to take sides but at all times you need to disclose your motives or where you are coming from or your street creds take a hit.

Such is the case with Mediacare, a mailing list in Yahoo Groups and now a blog by Radityo. Observers became very suspicious when all of a sudden the owner of the mailing list and the blog took a sudden passionate interest in the Billy Sindoro case.

The suspicions have come to a crescendo. Today one of Unspun‘s colleagues responded to Radityo’s request for topics and speakers on the mailing list in this thread. He asked if this talkshow would be neutral and whether it would be free from payments. He was careful to disclose that his PR firm represented Astro.

Then another member of the mailing list by the name of Gita Mayana adds her comment to the mailing list. her comment:

gmana mau bebas nilai..? lha wong penggagasnya aja media konsultannya Lippo.. Tapi oke, saya usul, ambil narsumnya Halim Mahfud, jubirnya PT Direct Vision.

To which Radityo responded:

Wah Mbak Gita dapat “bisikan” dari Mama Laurens ya kok bisa nebak-nebak kalau saya media konsultannya Lippo?

Tapi sayangnya salah tuh tebakannya. Sepertinya Lippo punya konsultan media sendiri deh, dan nama saya tak tercantum disitu.

Biar tidak salah sangka, perlu saya jelaskan bahwa 2 bulan lalu saya diminta gabung dalam tim humas Gani Djemat & Partners. Di tahun ini dan tahun depan ada beberapa kliennya yang perlu dukungan litigation PR. Kebetulan law firm ini ditunjuk oleh Billy Sindoro pribadi untuk menangani kasus hukum yang dihadapinya. Saya tegaskan, Billy Sindoro pribadi, sama sekali tak ada kaitannya dengan Grup Lippo.

Semoga Mbak Gita jadi jelas. Btw, Mbak Gita bekerja di media mana?



So now the truth is out. Radityo’s sudden interst in the Billy Sindoro case is because he’s been retained by Billy Sindoro to provide Litigation Support for Gani Djemat & Partners. Unspun’s question is this: Should Radityo have declared that the contents on his blog and mailing list had something to do with his client from the outset? Dos this affect the credibility of mediacare as a forum of discussion for journalists and communicators?

(Unspun‘s disclosure: Read the About page. Also, readers need to know that although Unspun‘s firm represents Astro, the client has not asked Unspun to blog anything on their behalf. Unspun blogged about this issue because he feels that something needs to be unspun in Mediacare. Unspun would also love to debate Radityo head on, mano-a-mano or blogger-a-blogger, on the points he’s trying to make on the Billy Sindoro case.)

Mediacare takes great interest in Billy Sindoro case

Why is Radityo Djadjoeri, the owner and administrator of Mediacare, the Yahoo mailing list for journalists and communicators, and also the blog, taking an inordinate interest in the Billy Sindoro case?

On Tuesday 16 December he posted a message entitled Talkshow: Kasus hukum yang membelit bisnis TV berbayar (Talkshow: The legal case that’s inimical to Pay TV, but you have to be a member to access the mailing list though) in which he said he (kami) would like to organize an on-air and off-air talkshow on the court case that is inimical to pay TV in Indonesia.

He then called for suggestions from the readers on topics that could be discussed, as well as suggestions for possible speakers, in such a talkshow.

And yesterday, 18 December, Radityo took issue with Koran Tempo, again in another posting in  Mediacare. He objcted to three points in Koran Tempo’s coverage of the Anti-Corruption Court’s hearing of the Billy Sindoro case headlined KPPU bribecase implicates Golkar politician.

In this posting Radityo makes three points: 1. That Billy Sindoro is no longer the President Director of PT First Media, the Lippo-controlled company that owns PT Direct Vision (and also no longer a member of the Board of Commissioners of Bank Lippo), 2) Billy was not caught red-handed passing the black bag containing the bribe money to Iqbal and 3)Billy did not comment on the KPK witness’s explanation.

The first two points are consistent with the strategy adopted by Billy’s defense lawyer, Humphrey Djemat. The strategy is to portray Billy as acting on his own rather than on behalf of someone else, even though it makes no sense for Billy to act as an individual to protect the interests of the group that he no longer belongs to.

The point about Billy not being caught red-handed passing the black bag of money to Iqbal is also consistent with Humphrey’s defence strategy, which is to imply that if the KPK does not really have solid evidence of the actual transaction taking place, then it has failed to prove that a crime has taken place. Video shots by the KPK, which was carried by Okezone, show Billy and Iqbal going into a lift with Billy carrying the bag. The next shots are of Billy coming out of the lift without the bag. Another shot is of Iqbal with the bag.

The third point is interesting because in it Radityo admits that he had sat in Billy’s trial from morning to afternoon. Its an inordinate amount of time to spend in court unless there is some spcial interest involved.

In his blog Radityo has also begun posting frequently and intensively on the Billy Sindoro case since December 8 when before postings were infrequent and showed little interest in matters surrounding the KPPU case.

So why is Radityo so interested in the case?many journalists have become curious. Perhaps Pak Radityo would care to drop by this blog and let us all know?

(Unspun’s disclosure: see the about page)

Billy on the skids

Unspun guesses that one could see significance in Lippo Group Executive Billy Sindoro being indicted in the Anti Corruption Court on International  Anticorruption Day Tuesday.

Earlier Unspun had wondered how the Lippo Group publication Jakarta Globe would cover the trial. Would they even bother to report it? Would they disclose their common interest?

To their credit they reported the hearing and they also DID disclose that “First Media and the Jakarta Globe are associated companies of the Lippo Group.”

Their story also had one fact that the Post did not have – when the trial will resume. Its a small piece of information but one that’s useful to anyone who’s interested in the progress of the case. But the post had a bit of a gem in its last paragraphs:

Billy’s lawyer, BS Humphrey Djemat said they would not argue the charges.

However, he underlined that Billy had not held a position at any of Lippo Group’s companies since June 8, 2008.

So we are now to believe that Billy was unemployed since June and that Billy is now meeting Iqbal and allegedly paying him Rp500 million of his own money…for what? Curiouser and curiouser this case gets.

How did the Post do compared to the Globe in reporting this hearing so far? Well, Unspun thinks they were both quite equal but you decide for yourself and let the newspaper owners and editors know what your think with the survey below of the Post‘s  (Page 1) and the Globe‘s (Page A6) coverage (you may also want to see how both papers fared overall in this earlier posting):

So much for straight reporting. Now, what about going for the story beyond the surface, as good papers should?

There are some very interesting questions that the Billy Sindoro indictment raises, mainly:

  1. Was Billy, as his defense counsel seem to suggest, acting onhis on, a rogue element within the Lippo Group? If so what are his motives to bribe Iqbal, if he acted alone?
  2. If Billy bribed the KPPU to insert in an Injunction (No. 5) in its  verdict shouldn’t the KPPU review its invstigation and the investigation in other cases?
  3. How is it that the Central Jakarta District Court could uphold KPPU’s verdict in its ruling on 2 December?

Now that we have some real competition among the English language media which publication would be the first to practice real journalism and ask the difficult questions, rather than carry out spot reporting?

(disclosure: Unspun‘s posts may involve clients now and again but all posts here reflect Unspun‘s personal opinions and not his clients’. Neither are posts made  on the behest of clients. In fact, they usually think that Unspun‘s a bit daft when he speaks to them about New Media)