12 May 2009
Antasari Azhar and Murder
What follows is a revised comment from this post on another topic where the question of Antasari Azhar (picture courtesy of Viva News) came up.
I have written elsewhere that where there is smoke there is most likely fire. I am going to go out on a limb and state that I am leaning towards there being fire in the Antasari case.
There are many commentators, Indonesian and non-Indonesian, who are suggesting that this is revenge and a frame-up.
In line with the smoke and fire analogy, the suggestion that this is a frame-up indicates a conspiracy of the highest order that could not conceivably be maintained and would unravel at the earliest opportunity. And, the court of public opinion might be split on guilt and the word on the street is not 100% one way or the other, but there are also plenty of people thinking that this is not the frame-up some are claiming it to be.
This is high profile and as such if it is a stitch-up as many claim, then there are so many others that could have been stitched-up other than Antasari.
Simply, there seems no point in bringing down Antasari if he is not involved.
Antasari has been caught out, at least with his pecker out of his pants and in the hands of an "educated" golf caddy who is being portrayed in the media as an excellent handler of sticks, or is that drivers, for the right fee. I cast no aspersions on the girl, I do not know her. Yet, I do not see any more happy endings on this one.
Let's face it, my reading of the news reports to date suggest, the girl is alleged to have panicked and called the police which really got the ball(s) rolling, so to speak. I would love to get a hold of her mobile phones and download the address book, they would certainly seem to be the veritable repository of contacts of the who's who of the Indonesian elite (and maybe the odd compromising photo or two), an electronic black book if you will.
The beauty of Indonesia is that it has a really short memory and the attention span is equally short. This is not something unique to Indonesia, but probably is relevant in this case. There were serious questions raised about the suitability of Antasari prior to his original appointment to the KPK. In fact, there were some interesting allegations raised about his extra-curricular activities. He was never convicted of anything and as such the allegations remain just that, allegations.
Nevertheless, this should be reasonable ammunition for the "I told you so" crowd that will inevitably appear.
However, I am far from convinced Antasari has been set up. The most likely scenario with what is available in the public domain is that Antasari was aware of corruption in a state-owned enterprise, and he probably became aware of this through Nasrudin. However, as horny old men are prone to do, Antasari was to busy getting his post-round workout with the caddy and forgot to move forward on the corruption documents and investigation. Nasrudin threatened to expose Antasari and then the rest you can probably work out for yourself.
Now all that said, I am all for due process and the Police and the Office of the Public Prosecutor still have to make their case in a court of law. If they do and Antasari is found guilty and convicted, so be it. If he is cleared of any involvement then so be it. Antasari can defend himself against the charges, through his legal team.
It is going to be interesting and fun to watch this one unfold.