Indonesia plans crackdown on judges using drugs

Featured South East Asia - November 5th, 2012
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Judges and judicial staff in Indonesia will be subjected to random drug tests in an attempt to root out the use of narcotics in the country’s judiciary branch.

The crackdown comes after a district court judge was arrested last month at a nightclub in Jakarta on suspicion of possessing ecstasy and methamphetamine – a blow to the country’s legal system, which is already laden with corruption, Financial Times reports.

“Drug use among judges has become a serious problem,” alleged Eman Suparman, chairman of the Judicial Commission, which oversees the appointment of judges. “We’ve got a lot of information from the public which indicates the use of illicit drugs among judges”. Cases wherein police officers and airline pilots under influence of drugs while on duty have also been reported, igniting public outrage.

The government vowed to introduce more rigorous testing, particularly within the legal system. However, drug use is not the only problem which the system faces, prompting the commission to work with National Narcotics Agency to tackle drug use by considering wider issues such as money laundering and the legal process in drug-related trials, Mr. Suparman added.

“How can a judge make the right decision for those seeking justice if he’s under the influence of drugs?” Mr. Suparman said.