Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy witnessed the signing of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act at an event in Alexandria, Virginia, today. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, capping a six-year bipartisan effort led by Leahy to enact the first comprehensive reforms to the nation’s patent system in nearly six decades. Vermont has the highest number of patents per capita in the nation.‘Vermonters have a long legacy of innovation and creativity. With the improvements included in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, that legacy is sure to continue. ‘Few efforts in Washington enjoy the broad, bipartisan support that this law has received. I thank President Obama, former Secretary Locke and Director Kappos, for their leadership and their support of American innovation. The America Invents Act is a bipartisan jobs initiative at a time when we need it the most. It is an example of what Democrats and Republicans can do when we work together for the American people. ‘The reforms included in this law will have a meaningful impact on American entrepreneurs and inventors for generations to come. The America Invents Act will promote job creation and innovation, in the Green Mountains of Vermont and across the country, and I thank the President for signing it into law today.’ September 16, 2011
He added that the terminated cases had been quite diverse, namely allegations of corruption lodged against regional heads, state-owned enterprise (SOE) executives, law enforcement officials, high-ranking officials of ministries and other state bodies, as well as members of the legislative body.However, the spokesperson said that such termination was not unusual as the antigraft body had terminated hundreds of cases since its establishment.“In the last five years, the KPK has terminated the investigation of 162 cases,” said Ali.Read also: Manpower shortage hampers KPK investigations Topics : The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has confirmed that it has stopped preliminary investigations for 36 cases, raising skepticism over the performance of the country’s leading antigraft agency under its new leadership.KPK acting spokesperson Ali Fikri said the antigraft body had considered “carefully and responsibly” before making the decision.“Some cases had been worked on since 2011. They also did not fulfill requirements to be processed further, such as lacking preliminary evidence, not identified as an act of corruption and other reasons that can be legally accounted for,” Ali said in a statement on Thursday. During a preliminary investigation, KPK investigators are tasked with determining whether a case involves an act of corruption. They are also required to gather sufficient and strong evidence before deciding whether to continue the investigation or name any graft suspect in the case. Otherwise, the investigation should be terminated.Article 40 of Law No. 30/2002 on the KPK prohibits the antigraft body from stopping a case at the investigation or prosecution stage; prompting investigators to ensure that all cases at the preliminary stage have strong evidence.The provision, however, was revised in the 2019 KPK Law, allowing the antigraft body to terminate an investigation and prosecution of a graft case if they have not been completed within two years.“Our investigators are still required to handle graft cases carefully,” Ali said.The Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) has condemned the investigation termination, doubting whether the antigraft body had carried out case screenings for each case before finally deciding to terminate them.“KPK leaders should not get trapped into committing abuse of power in deciding investigation terminations because the cases allegedly involve important people, such as regional leaders, law enforcers and legislative members,” ICW activist Wana Alamsyah said in a statement on Thursday.“Moreover, the KPK chairman is an active police officer, so it is feared that there has been a conflict of interest,” he went on to say, referring to the antigraft body’s current chairman, Firli Bahuri, a three-star police general.Read also: KPK chairman Firli named in Muara Enim bribery trialWana highlighted the number of terminated cases, saying that the KPK had on average terminated two cases every month in five years. However, the number spiked to 36 cases two months after the new leaders were inaugurated.“When we look deeper into the matter, the current leadership has yet to start an investigation,” he said.The KPK recently arrested Saiful Ilah, the regent of Sidoarjo in East Java, as well as General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Wahyu Setiawan last month. However, the investigation of both cases started during the tenure of previous chairman Agus Rahardjo. The ICW quoted a survey by Jakarta-based pollster Alvara Research Center on Feb. 12 that showed public satisfaction toward the current KPK leadership had plunged.“With the large number of cases terminated in the preliminary investigation process, it reinforces the public’s notion that the KPK’s performance in terms of law enforcement against corruption will decline sharply,” said Wana.