Former national antigraft agency chief Antasari Azhar remained tightlipped on Friday (27/01) about his meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo the day before.
“Let’s just keep this between me and the president,” Antasari said in an interview at the offices of BeritaSatu TV in Jakarta.
The former chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said those who questioned his status should understand that the president has a constitutional right to grant clemency.
“The president can grant clemency, even if the [affected] person does not request it. He did the same for [people in] Papua and Ambon,” Antasari said.
However, he said he was headstrong about not filing for clemency during the reign of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“I never asked SBY for clemency. I was not even allowed to attend my child’s wedding, let alone ask for clemency,” he said, referring to the former president by his initials.
He said patience and prayer led him on the road to clemency.
“I pled for clemency; sent [my request] to the court. The court sent it to the Supreme Court, which then sent it to the national secretary, and I waited and prayed,” explained Antasari, who is a former state prosecutor.
His meeting with the president has sparked speculation that he may be plotting political revenge against those responsible for his downfall.
Many people believe Antasari was framed for the murder of Nasruddin Zulkarnaen, a director at state-owned Putra Rajawali Banjaran, as the evidence in the case was deemed insufficient to secure a conviction.
Even Nasruddin’s brother Andi Zulkarnaen has stated on many occasions that he believed in Antasari’s innocence.