Indonesia: House Approves Listyo Sigit as Next Police Chief

  • The House of Representatives’ commission on legal and political affairs approved Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo as the president’s pick for the next national police chief in a hearing on 20 Jan 21.
  • Listyo’s nomination was approved unanimously by the 49-member commission to take the helm of the national police, currently under public scrutiny over the killing of six members of hardline group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
  • The National Commission for Human Rights has concluded that there has been an excessive use of force by officers during the 7 Dec 20 incident, but stopped short of calling it gross human rights violations.
  • The rights commission recommended legal proceedings against the officers involved.
  • The issue was raised in the hearing by Dimyati Natakusumah, a lawmaker from the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), who asked why a case emanating from alleged health protocol violation by FPI leader Rizieq Syihab ended up with the death of six people.
  • Listyo, who is currently heading the Criminal Investigation Agency, replied that he would follow recommendation by the rights commission.
  • According to police investigation, at least four officers were involved in the operation.
  • Listyo also told the hearing that he would take a “more humane approach” to uphold justice, pointing to a past case in which a grandmother was “inappropriately” prosecuted and sentenced for stealing a small amount of cocoa beans.
  • In a rare sight of a House screening for a new police chief, the top brass of the institution including current police chief Idham Azis and high-ranking officers from various graduation years accompanied Listyo to the hearing room to show that they are “in unity and solid” in backing the nominee.
  • “Leaders and members of the House commission have agreed by acclamation the honorable discharge of Police Chief General Idham Azis and the appointment of Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo as a sucessor,” commission chairman Herman Hery said.
  • The decision will be put forward to the upcoming plenary session for another rubber stamp. A coalition of pro-government parties is currently holding a vast majority in the House.
  • Listyo will begin his tenure when Idham retires at the end of Jan 21.

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