Former Kuta police chief punished over Australian buck’s night scandal

Kuta Police chief Dedy Januartha. Photo: Amilia RosaA former Kuta police chief has been demoted for at least a year over a scandal in which a group of Melbourne men were forced by police to pay a bribe after they hired a stripper at a buck’s night.

An ethics court also ordered the former police chief, Ida Bagus Dedy Januartha, to apologise to the Bali police chief over the incident.

The panel found he had violated the police ethics code by taking a cut of the bribe and failing to adequately supervise his officers.

The judge said Mr Januartha’s actions had a negative effect on the reputation of police.

Last June, Fairfax Media revealed 16 men who flew to Bali for the buck’s weekend of marketing consultant and former model, Mark Ipaviz, were forced to pay a bribe to avoid trumped-up charges and threats of a 10-year prison sentence.

Twelve Bali police officers including Mr Januartha were implicated in the scandal.

In September they were paraded before their colleagues at a routine morning briefing as part of a humiliation process and then forced to stand for two hours in the sun.

A range of other punishments were meted out but no employee was sacked over the incident.

According to two men who attended the buck’s night dinner at an upmarket eatery in Seminyak, the decision to hire a stripper prompted a raid by private security guards brandishing guns.

One of Mr Ipaviz’s friends was hit over the head with a bottle, several were shocked with Taser guns, while another was pistol-whipped and threatened with death.

The 16 men and the stripper were bundled into vans and taken to a police station holding cell in Kuta, until a translator arrived in the morning.

After more than 24 hours in custody, two men were dispatched to withdraw money on behalf of the group from ATMs while chaperoned by the translator and an armed police officer.

Once the bribe was paid, the group was released, but missed their return flights to Melbourne.

The police were interrogated after the Indonesian embassy in Australia reported a strong social media backlash when Fairfax Media revealed the corruption allegations in June.

On January 5, the ethics court found Mr Januartha “convincingly guilty of breaching the police ethical code”.

He was ordered to apologise to Bali’s police chief and be transferred to a different position of a demoted rank for at least a year.

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