Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —
The Republic of Indonesia’s Attorney General’s Office (Kejagung) said it regretted that there were threats allegedly made by the bodyguards of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto against journalists.
Head of the Center for Legal Information at the Attorney General’s Office, Ketut Sumedana, asked all parties to appreciate the journalistic work done by the media crew.
He also considered that the crowd that had occurred after Airlangga’s questioning at the AGO was still at a reasonable stage and did not pose a threat.
“There should be no threatening words like that. Crowds and jostling for media friends is normal and becomes their daily duty. The important thing is not to cause commotion and respect one another,” he told reporters, Tuesday (25/7).
Ketut also said that so far there had never been an incident of similar threats being conveyed to journalists covering the prosecutor’s office. Therefore, he hopes that similar incidents will not be repeated in the future.
As for the moment of the alleged threat that occurred when Airlangga left the prosecutor’s office, Ketut said that previously the situation and conditions were fairly reasonable and proportional.
“I see that the media is still in the proportional and professional stages of working. We, the prosecutor’s office, have been greatly assisted by the presence of the media so far. We hope that in the future there will be no more incidents like this,” he said.
Furthermore, Ketut admitted that all security officers within the AGO had been provided with polite and courteous training. He ensured that officers would be sanctioned if they were found to have committed an offence.
“Our officers are trained to be polite. If it’s from us, of course we have to reprimand and there will be sanctions,” he explained.
AJI asked for strict sanctions
Meanwhile, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) asked for sanctions to be imposed regarding Airlangga’s bodyguards who allegedly threatened to shoot journalists while escorting his superiors to the car.
“Of course there must be more proper sanctions. We don’t want incidents like this to be repeated in the future,” said AJI chairman Sasmito Madrim to CNNIndonesia.com via text message, Tuesday (25/7).
He also hopes that journalists covering the Attorney General’s Office that night will report to law enforcement officials to give a deterrent effect to the perpetrators. Moreover, according to Sasmito, this threat could lead to physical violence if left unchecked.
“For example, let’s let this happen. Yes, threats are one step towards physical violence,” explained Sasmito.
“In the Press Law, namely in Article 18, there is a criminal threat there. For people or parties who obstruct or impede the work of journalists, they can be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 2 years in prison or a fine,” he added.
Previously, someone suspected of being a bodyguard for the Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto had threatened to shoot media crews who were blocking the way to the car after the questioning at the Attorney General’s Office.
The shooting threat took place after Airlangga held a press conference regarding the investigation into the corruption case regarding the export license for Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and its derivatives for the 2021-2022 period.
With a tight escort, Airlangga was about to rush to a black Toyota Land Cruiser with police number B 2585 SJI to leave the Attorney General’s Office. However, a number of media crews are still trying to interview Airlangga.
The pushing between the media crew and Airlangga’s bodyguards was inevitable. At the time of pushing each other, one of Airlangga’s bodyguards then shouted to open the way while threatening to shoot the media crew who were in the way.
“Open the way, open the way, I’ll shoot, I’ll shoot you,” shouted the guard to the reporters who tried to interview Airlangga.
Meanwhile, the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy denied that there was a shooting threat made by the bodyguard of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto to reporters at the Attorney General’s Office, Monday (24/7) evening.
Spokesman for the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy Haryo Limanseto claimed to have clarified this to the protocol party and no one said gunshots.
“The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Protocol has its own SOP in carrying out assistance to leaders and in carrying out their duties, the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Protocol is not equipped with weapons,” he said in a written statement, Tuesday (25/7).