President advised to have anti-graft leaders case "frozen"

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - One of the options presented to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to save Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chiefs Bibit and Chandra from a court trial was "freezing" their case, the president`s special legal adviser said.

Denny Indrayana, special presidential aide for legal affairs, said he had presented several alternative ways to the president to prevent the two KPK leaders from being put on trial after a high court had rejected the Attorney General`s Office (AGO)`s appeal against a lower court`s ruling that they must be tried on charges of abuse of power and extortion.

One of the alternatives was "deponeering" (freezing) their case "in the public interest", a legal measure possible under the law on the functions of public prosecutors, he said.

If Bibit and Chandra became defendants in a court trial, they would under the law on KPK automatically be suspended from their posts and this would severely hamper the KPK`s work.

Denny made the statement at the presidential office when asked to comment on the high court`s decision to reject the AGO`s appeal against a Jakarta District Court pre-trial verdict invalidating an AGO decision to halt an investigation of Bibit and Chandra for alleged abuse of power and extortion in a corruption case involving businessman Anggoro Widjojo.

Freezing their case in the public interest was one of the alternative solutions and something within the power of the Attorney General to do, Denny said.

He said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono`s stance on the Bibit-Chandra case had remained the same as when it first became a national controversy, namely that it should be settled out of court and not affect the KPK`s performance.

Meanwhile, the AGO on Friday remained adamant that its decision to discontinue the investigation of Bibit and Chandra was correct. (*)

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