Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jakarta On the Hudson

"They have long worked illegally in the shadows of Indonesia's police stations, attorney general's office and courts, the common link in what is called Indonesia's 'judicial mafia.' Called 'markuses,' they are middlemen who can persuade corrupt police officers, prosecutors and judges to drop a case against a client for the right amount of money. ... President Susilo Bambang Tudhoyno said he would make eradicating the judicial mafia of markuses and corrupt officals a priority of his second term. ... But lawyers, officials and watchdog groups warn that uprooting the so-called judicial mafia wll require an overhaul of the country's law enforcement and justice systems. They say that Mr. Yudhoyno, who shies away from confrontation, is unlikely to push through changes inside the nation's powerful police force, attorney general's office and courts, institutions that are considered among Indonesia's most corrupt. ... Kuntoro Mangkusubroto [KM], the leader of a new presidential task force to reform the justice system, said Indonesia's criminal justice system was fertile ground for middlemen representing moneyed clients. 'We want to have a system that is fair for everybody, not dependent on whether he or she has power or money,' [KM] said in an interview, adding that cleaning up the current system would take years. ... Last month, wiretapped conversations revealed a plot by a prominent businessman, along with police officials and prosecutors, to fabricate a case against officals at the Corruption Eradication Commission, the nation's chief anticorruption agency. ... What shocked most Indonesians was not the brazenness of the speakers but the fact that the practices mentioned in the wiretaps seemed routine. By contrast, Indonesians without money have seemed increasingly at the mercy of a legal system that metes out severe punishment for seemingly harmless offenses. ... In dealing with the police, the markuses--who are typically relatives of police officials, lawyers, journalists or anyone with contacts in law enforcement agencies--bribe police officials on behalf of a client in trouble with the law. With money, they persuade the police to change evidence or drop a case, according to watchdog groups, police officials and lawyers. ... So far, attempts to reform or monitor the police, prosecutors and judges have been largely cosmetic, experts say. ... Indonesia's Supreme Court, which oversees the conduct of all the nation's courts, has mostly ignored the commission's recommendations, choosing instead to protect colleagues, Mr. [Busyro] Muqoddas said", my emphasis, Norimitsu Onishi at the NYT, 20 December 2009, link:

Welcome to Jakarta on the Hudson. Look at some of the sweetheart deals we've seen: Ashcroft, Deloitte, Debevoise, my 31 December 2008 and 17 May December 2009 posts, links: US markuses are "former" SEC and DOJ officials. We do things differently here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jakarta on the Hudson ... you bet.

And it is the "populist indignation" against this type of corrupted influence that Sarah Palin may ride to the White House.

The "populi" don't understand the fancy particulars but there is a growing sense that the system is much too rigged...

"Ping Pong MaryJo"... surely her soul is at ease... in her mind the SEC is "inefficient" and overly proscriptive (or some such thing) and she is helping "justice" move along.