The Police has no intention to intimidate or criminalize the media.
That was the conclusion of the statement by National Police Chief PR Inspector General Nanan Soekarna on Friday. He explained that the purpose of the summoning of chief editors of two media i.e. Kompas and Seputar Indonesia was to collect more evidence in the investigation of businessman Anggodo Widjaya for alleged bribery of Vice Chiefs of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
One day earlier, the Police summoned Chief Editors of both media to come to the National Police Headquarters to be questioned in connection with the investigation against Anggodo.
Although there were reports that the questioning has been canceled however it did took place. This was protested by around 50 reporters who gathered at the front of the Police headquarters gate and hung their ID Cards, cameras at the gate. They said that based on the Press Law No. 40 /1999 Article 10, reporters have the right to refuse to name their news sources.
For detailed media reports, please click here, here, here, here and here.
Under normal circumstances, the questioning of both media chief editors may have been a regular matter, in the sense that the Police is doing its duty to collect more evidence to support its investigation of a case.
But considering that the present case is a high profile bribery case whereby the alleged recipients (KPK Vice Chiefs) have been arrested while the alleged giver (Anggodo) remain free although the recording indicated his involvement, I felt that it would be much better if the Police carefully consider all possibilities before summoning the media. That way the Police's image as a neutral and trustworthy law enforcement agency can be maintained.
After all, the Police and the media need each other to maintain peace and order in our community.