Police to probe Riau officials

EoF News / 13 March 2008

EoF News (Pekanbaru)--- President’s special team staff said Riau Police Office are allowed to probe some Riau officials over alleged illegal logging and corruption cases, despite there is no permit issued by from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
While, Riau Police Office have made effort to accelerate the legal process and now planned to probe the bureaucrats by applying Regional Administration Law Number 32 year 2004.
Sardan Marbun, a special staff of Presidential Team for Legal and Corruption Eradication, told last weekend (9/3/2008) in Pekanbaru that the president allowed and would not obstruct the Riau Police Office to probe provincial and district leaders who allegedly involved in corruption and illegal logging cases, Riau Mandiri daily reported Monday (10/3/2008).
“The President [Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] would not hinder the probe’s process to the regional officials and who allegedly involved in [such crimes] and would allow to do so,” he said.
“This is pure for law enforcement and there is not any correlation with political interest,” Sardan said as quoted by Riau Mandiri as saying.
The officials would be summoned over issuing logging licenses (IPK) to companies in Riau natural forests. Two former Riau Forestry Service named suspects for the illegal logging case beside several executives of two giant pulp & paper companies in Riau, APP and APRIL.
Chief of Riau Police Office, Brig.-Gen. Sutjiptadi, meanwhile, said that his institution would question Riau governor and five district heads over illegal logging cases despite there is no permit from President Yudhoyono, Koran Tempo daily reported Wednesday (13/3).
“To fulfill the dossier [of illegal logging case], we refer to Regional Administration Law,” he said Tuesday as quoted by Koran Tempo as saying. The Law would enable the police to probe the regional government officials as the police could complete the dossier and avoid misfiling.
Recently, the Prosecutor Office said several dossiers relating to the six officials are not complete, while the police can’t summon the officials due to the absence of the President’s green light, Koran Tempo reported.
It is not sure the timing when the police would summon the officials. “In the near future, we will summon and probe the Governor and District Heads. We are not fooling around, but are serious,” Sutjiptadi told the press on Monday (3/3) as quoted as saying by Tribun Pekanbaru (4/3).

Meanwhile, director executive of WALHI Riau, Johny Setiawan Mundung, said that the pulp industry’s fear that the companies would run out the raw material for production as unacceptable. 

Mundung said a pulp company has plantation land by 750,000 ha, that it is enough to supply the material for the industry, Tribun Pekanbaru reported  last week (5/3/2008). “They [companies] just want to grab new lands,” he said.