Thick smoke rises above forest fires burning in Riau / photo: Jakarta Post, courtesy of the Riau Land and Forest Fire Post’s air task force

The Indonesia House of Representatives will crosscheck differing testimonies made by two former Riau Police chiefs — Insp. Gen. Dolly Bambang Hermawan and Brig. Gen. Supriyanto — about who issued letters to terminate investigations (SP3s) for 15 alleged forest burners.

Jakarta Post reported that a member of the House’s committee for investigating forest fires , Syarifudin Sudding had told the press on Tuesday (25 Oct), “We will summon the police officials on Thursday along with the investigation team, so that we know who holds the real responsibility for the issuance of SP3s for 15 companies.”

“Bambang and Supriyanto would be summoned along with the current Riau Police chief Brig. Gen. Zulkarnain Adinegara to clarify the facts and stop the police officials from placing blame on each other,” Sudding said.

He added, should Supriyanto — who previously claimed to have no idea about the SP3s as they were issued when Dolly served as police chief — be found guilty of providing false testimony to lawmakers, the House may recommend that National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian dismiss him from the force.

The former Riau Police chief Insp. Gen. Dolly Bambang Hermawan held office as Riau Police Chief from August 2014 to March 2016, prior to Brig. Gen. Supriyanto who took the position after him.

During the Tuesday hearing, Dolly denied issuing terminations of investigation (SP3s) to 15 companies accused as responsible for forest fires in the province.

Dolly pointed out that out of 18 cases related to bush and forest fires during his term as Riau’s Police chief, only three were SP3s.

“Three SP3s were issued in January when I was still a police chief, even though the issuance was under the police precinct’s authority. I don’t know about the other cases because I was no longer the police chief,” Dolly told the committee on Tuesday.

Dolly explained further that the three SP3s were given by the Pelalawan police precinct because the force was the one that investigated the allegations.

He added that he was sure that the SP3 documents were not issued carelessly as they were based on the facts and the testimonies of witnesses.

The committee’s chairperson Benny K. Harman said, during an earlier meeting Supriyanto said he had no idea about the issuance of SP3s.

Earlier this month, Brigadier General Zulkarnain, replaced Supriyanto. Zulkarnain received a direct order from Indonesian National Chief of Police Gen. Tito Karnavian, to re-investigate the release of Cessation of Case Research (Surat Penghentian Penyelidikan Perkara/SP3) of 15 companies suspected in forest and land fires in 2015.

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