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Former foreign minister took dirty cash: KPK


Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Thu, March 27 2014, 9:09 AM

The first hearing in the trial of a former Indonesian ambassador to the United States, Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, revealed on Wednesday that cash collected from rigging a series of international events at the Foreign Ministry in 2004-2005 partly flowed to former minister Hassan Wirajuda.

Sudjadnan, who was the Foreign Ministry’s secretary-general when the alleged wrongdoing occurred, is being tried for allegedly skimming Rp 4.5 billion (US$394,304) from 12 international conferences and meetings held by the ministry, causing state losses of Rp 12 billion.

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors said the Rp 4.5 billion was used to enrich Sudjadnan, Hassan and other officials at the ministry, as well as corporations.

“A total of Rp 440 million was used to enrich Hassan Wirajuda as instructed by the defendant, who also took a Rp 300 million slice from the projects,” prosecutor Kadek Wiradana read from the indictment at the Jakarta Corruption Court.

The indictment did not elaborate on how and for what purposes the money was given to Hassan.

Other alleged recipients of the illicit money were the ministry’s finance bureau head, Warsita Eka, who took Rp 15 million; ministry budget division heads I Gusti Putu Adnyana and Suwartini Wirta, with Rp 165 million each; the ministry’s secretariat with Rp 110 million; and other high ranking ministry officials with a total Rp 1.4 billion.

Additionally, PT Pactoconvex Niagatama and PT Royalindo allegedly received Rp 1.6 billion.

If found guilty, Sudjadnan could face life in prison for violating Article 2 of the Corruption Law.

Sudjadnan’s indictment reveals that 12 international conferences and meetings organized by the ministry were marred with irregularities, such as budget markups and the hiring of event organizer firms without going through the proper mechanism.

So far, Sudjadnan is the only suspect in the case, but the KPK emphasized on Wednesday that it was also investigating other alleged perpetrators in the case, including Hassan, who currently serves as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council (Wantimpres).

“We will see how new evidence revealed in the trial may become gateways for the KPK to prosecute other individuals who might have played a role in the case,” KPK spokesman Johan Budi told a press briefing on Wednesday.

Sudjadnan has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying that he was merely a victim in the case and that the committee handling the finances and logistics of the seminars and conferences was responsible.

This is not the first time Sudjadnan has stood trial for graft.

In January 2011, the Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced Sudjadnan to one year and eight months in prison for his role in the markup of the renovation of the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore between 2003 and 2004.

He was released on parole in 2012 and then promptly arrested again in the current case.

Hassan could not be reached for comment on Wednesday night.

Separately, the Jakarta High Court handed down a 16-year sentence to graft convict Ahmad Fathanah, higher than the 14 years initially given by the Jakarta Corruption Court last year.

“Ahmad Fathanah has been found guilty of graft and money laundering,” the court’s ruling read on Wednesday.

Fathanah was convicted for his role in the beef quota graft case at the Agriculture Ministry, which also saw former Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq imprisoned for 16 years.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in General

 

SBY warned over social aid funds ahead of election


The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) sent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono a letter on Tuesday, recommending that all social aid funds be managed under the Social Affairs Ministry to avoid budget embezzlement ahead of the general election.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said ministries that had no direct relationship with social activities should no longer be authorized to manage social aid funds, due to the fact most ministries had political leaders at their helms.

This year, the central government has allocated a total of Rp 91.8 trillion (US$8 billion) of social aid funds to be distributed to ministries.

Experts and activists have told the government to keep an eye on the disbursement of the funds, since ministers may use the money for political purposes as many of them are running for office in legislative and presidential elections slated for April 9 and July 9, respectively.

Last year, a Coalition for State Finance Accountability (KUAK) report showed 10 ministries managed around Rp 26 trillion, or 3.6 percent of 2013’s social aid funds.

According to KUAK, the Religious Affairs Ministry, headed by Suryadharma Ali of the United Development Party (PPP), received the largest funds amounting to Rp 11 trillion; followed by the Agriculture Ministry, led by Suswono of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) with Rp 6 trillion; the Social Affairs Ministry, under Salim Segaf al Jufri of the PKS with Rp 3.3 trillion; the Public Housing Ministry, led by Djan Faridz of the PPP, with Rp 2.2 trillion; and the Disadvantaged Regions Ministry, led by Helmy Faishal Zaini of the National Awakening Party (PKB), with Rp 1.2 trillion.

The Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, under PKB chairman Muhaimin Iskandar, received Rp 70 billion and the Forestry Ministry, headed by National Mandate Party (PAN) politician Zulkifli Hasan, received Rp 200 billion.

The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry headed by Golkar Party deputy chairman Sharif Cicip Sutardjo received Rp 728 billion while the Youth and Sports Ministry, led by Democratic Party politician Roy Suryo, received Rp 608 billion.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in General

 

Yudhoyono gave Anas cash at Cikeas residence: Lawyer


Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Tue, March 25 2014, 10:01 AM

Graft suspect and former Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum had claimed he received cash from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the latter’s private residence in Cikeas, West Java, following the election in 2009, a lawyer said on Monday.

“The money was handed over in Cikeas. The total amount that Yudhoyono gave to Anas was Rp 250 million [US$21,968], of which Rp 200 million was spent as a down payment for a Toyota Harrier, which has since been seized by the Corruption Eradication Commission [KPK],” Anas’ lawyer Firman Wijaya told reporters at KPK headquarters.

He said the Harrier was a “thank you” from the party for Anas’ hard work during the 2009 legislative and presidential elections.

“We have a witness who can confirm that Yudhoyono directly gave Anas the money in Cikeas,” Firman said, without revealing the witness’ identity.

Earlier, the KPK had stated that the car was a “thank you gift” from construction company PT Adhi Karya, the company awarded the tender for the graft-ridden Hambalang sports complex in West Java.

Anas has been declared a suspect in the Hambalang case for allegedly accepting the Toyota Harrier and
Rp 2.2 billion from Adhi Karya.

Besides the money he allegedly received from Yudhoyono, Anas previously said Yudhoyono’s 2009 reelection campaign had been funded by money tied to the Bank Century bailout in 2008.

Firman claimed that his client, formerly a member of Yudhoyono’s inner circle, knew a great deal about the party’s internal affairs, including the flow of money in and out of the party.

“[Anas] is a very credible source to explain the financial activities of the party. Those people who mock him for raising these new allegations have no idea what Anas knows,” Firman said.

Anas revealed last month that Yudhoyono had once instructed him to “safeguard” the Century bailout discussions at the House of Representatives while he was chairman of the House’s Democratic Party faction.

Firman said the campaign donations, totaling Rp 232 billion, given to the Democratic Party in 2009 came not only from Century bailout funds but also from “other illicit sources”.

Current chair of the Democrats’ faction in the House, Nurhayati Ali Assegaff, lambasted media outlets for what she called the “excessive reporting” on Anas’ latest allegations against Yudhoyono, accusing the media of playing politics ahead of the legislative election

“I don’t care about Anas’ allegations as they are all untrue. But why ahead of the legislative election are media outlets giving Anas the space to make these allegations against the Democratic Party? The degree of independence of media outlets is determined by their owners’ [respective political interests],” Nurhayati said on Monday as quoted
by kompas.com.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in General

 

Century bailout funds: Anas’ new attack against Yudhoyono


Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Mon, March 24 2014, 10:05 AM

Former Democratic Party chairman and graft and money laundering suspect Anas Urbaningrum seems to have a lot of bullets to shoot at his former boss and current party chairman President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

After a round of questioning at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Friday night, Anas said an audit report of Yudhoyono’s 2009 reelection campaign finances he submitted to investigators listed bogus donors — both individuals and corporations — whose names were used to cover up illicit funds allegedly funneled from the Bank Century bailout.

“It’s the KPK’s job to investigate the audit report to find out the source of donations registered under the bogus names of individuals and corporations,” he said, adding that the total amount of campaign donations received by the Democratic Party in 2009 was Rp 232 billion (US$20.3 million).

Anas was named a suspect in the case of the graft-ridden Hambalang sports complex project in West Java for allegedly accepting a Toyota Harrier and Rp 2.2 billion from the construction firm that won the tender.

The antigraft body has said it would investigate whether money from the 2008 bailout of Bank Century was funneled to fund Yudhoyono’s 2009 reelection bid using the information recently provided by Anas.

KPK chairman Abraham Samad said the body would study the audit report Anas had submitted.

“We will validate all information [revealed by Anas] and we will look into every detail of it,” Abraham said on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com.

In another volley against Yudhoyono, who ousted Anas from the party chair after he was named a suspect by the KPK, Anas’ lawyer Firman Wijaya said the Toyota Harrier was partly bought using money Yudhoyono gave him as a “thank you gift” from the party for Anas’ hard work in the 2009 legislative and presidential elections.

“The money to pay the down payment on the car was from Pak SBY,” Firman said referring to Yudhoyono’s initials.

Earlier, Anas said that Yudhoyono had once instructed him to “safeguard” the Bank Century bailout discussions at the House of Representatives, while he was chairman of the party’s faction in the House.

The order to “safeguard” was interpreted by Anas as a damage control command to prevent other members of the ruling party from being implicated in the case.

Responding to Anas’ allegations, Democratic spokesman Ruhut Sitompul lashed out at his former party colleague, saying that Anas was just looking for “friends to keep him company at the KPK detention center”.

“Who was Anas in 2009? He was elected chairman in 2010. So, he was never involved at all in the audit. He is now possessed by an evil spirit,” Ruhut said on Sunday.

Ruhut went on to say that the audit was reported in 2009 right after the presidential election and “it did not contain any irregularities at all.”

He added that Yudhoyono never instructed Anas to “safeguard” Century discussions at the House.

“If Pak SBY had intervened in the case at the House, I would be the right person he would have instructed because I am a member of House Commission III overseeing legal affairs,” Ruhut said.

Party board of patron member Hayono Isman said that Yudhoyono had nothing to hide.

“Actually, Pak SBY has clarified such allegations in the past and I think he would be happy to give his testimony if the KPK needs him to at anytime, whether when he is still the president or after his tenure ends [this October]. He always supports the work of the KPK to eradicate the country’s rampant corruption,” Hayono said.

Meanwhile, the first trial connected to the Bank Century bailout began on March 16 with the indictment of former Bank Indonesia (BI) deputy governor Budi Mulya for malfeasance and individual and corporate enrichment. No evidence has emerged in the trial of a link between Yudhoyono’s reelection campaign and the bailout.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in General

 

KPK takes over ex-minister graft case from police


Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, March 21 2014, 9:43 AM

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) announced on Thursday that it had taken over the investigation of a graft case implicating former health minister Siti Fadilah Supari from the National Police.

The National Police have accused Siti of abusing her budgetary power during her 2004-2009 tenure as minister in a botched Health Ministry medical equipment procurement in 2005 worth Rp 15.5 billion (US$1.3 million).

“The takeover is already official and the KPK will issue a sprindik [letter ordering the start of an investigation] for Siti,” KPK spokesman Johan Budi told reporters on Thursday night.

Johan said the KPK did not need a permit from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to question Siti as a suspect in the case, though she currently was serving on the Presidential Advisory Council (Wantimpres).

Johan refused to comment on speculation that the KPK took over the case because the National Police were moving sluggishly due to Siti being a member of Wantimpres.

“The KPK and the National Police agreed to hand over the case to the KPK,” Johan said.

Siti was named a suspect by the National Police on March 28, 2012, and since then many have charged that no progress has been made by the police. The case resulted in Rp 6.1 billion in state losses.

In 2012, the KPK questioned Siti several times in relation to another corruption case at the ministry implicating former director general of medical services Ratna Dewi Umar, who was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison.

The KPK emphasized that it was still investigating the case implicating Ratna and was looking into whether Siti also played a role. That case also involved a mishandled medical equipment procurement, worth Rp 40 billion in 2007. The incident cost the state Rp 6.8 billion.

Previously, Ratna had said she was instructed by Siti to directly offer the tender for the procurement to a company belonging to Rudijanto Tanoesoedibjo, the brother of media mogul and vice presidential hopeful for the Hanura Party Hary Tanoesoedibjo.

Siti has repeatedly denied allegations she was connected to Ratna’s case, saying she had no knowledge of foul play in the project and could not monitor the “thousands of procurement projects” at the ministry.

Last year in September, the KPK said Siti and Rudijanto could be named suspects in the case if KPK investigators found compelling evidence implicating them.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in General

 

Suspects in haj fund graft case to be announced soon: KPK


Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Thu, March 20 2014, 9:06 AM

The Corruption Eradication Commission’s (KPK) investigation into alleged irregularities in the haj pilgrimage program at the Religious Affairs Ministry found sufficient evidence to name suspects, KPK chairman Abraham Samad confirmed on Wednesday.

“Our investigation has found strong evidence that implicates the suspects,” Abraham said at KPK headquarters on Wednesday, refusing to name the possible suspects.

He said that the KPK had to question a number of witnesses to strengthen its case before naming the suspects.

“The KPK hopes that individuals we summons give us additional information. In the near future, we will announce the suspects,” Abraham said.

He said that KPK leaders and investigators on Friday would hold an internal case presentation to determine when the suspects would be announced.

On Wednesday, the KPK questioned the ministry’s director general for the haj and umrah (minor haj) Anggito Abimanyu as a witness in the case.

Arriving at KPK headquarters, Anggito, who was the former head of the Fiscal Policy Agency at the Finance Ministry, brought along haj pilgrimage program financial reports to be submitted to KPK investigators.

After the questioning, Anggito only said, “the haj pilgrimage fund is used to pay for all haj pilgrimage program activities.”

Earlier in January, the KPK announced that it would focus its investigation on the procurement of goods and services in the haj pilgrimage program during the 2012-2013 period.

KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto emphasized that the antigraft body had also investigated the management of the haj pilgrimage fund during the 2012-2013 period and the giving of facilities to go on haj to individuals who were not permitted to according to existing regulations.

It is alleged that a number of families and relatives of lawmakers and high-ranking officials at the ministry illegally enjoyed facilities from the haj fund.

Each pilgrim is required to pay a deposit of Rp 25 million to be placed on a waiting list for the pilgrimage. Those payments are stored and managed by the ministry. Currently, there are nearly 2 million people on the waiting list. Last year, around 168,800 people went to Mecca for the haj.

In January 2013, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) published a report indicating that over the last eight years, there were extensive irregularities in the fund holding the deposits of prospective pilgrims.

Data from the PPATK showed that the ministry had managed Rp 80 trillion in haj funds with Rp 2.3 trillion in interest from 2004-2012.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in General

 

KPK eyes more of Anas’ ill-gotten gains


Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Wed, March 19 2014, 8:10 AM

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Abraham Samad said that the anti-graft body was currently investigating the existence of a company in Riau allegedly tied to the money laundering activities of former Democratic Party chairman and graft suspect Anas Urbaningrum.

“We are currently investigating the existence of a mining company and [Anas’] other assets,” Abraham said on Tuesday.

Abraham did not disclose either the name of the company or the alleged “illicit assets”, but he promised that as long as there was enough evidence, the assets would be confiscated.

So far, the KPK has confiscated two plots of land — measuring 7,670 and 200 square meters respectively — in Mantrijeron district in Yogyakarta; three plots of land in Panggungharjo village in Bantul regency, also in Yogyakarta; and a plot of land and a house on Jl. Duren Sawit, East Jakarta. All properties are registered under the name of Anas’ father-in-law, Attabik Ali.

KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto said that the KPK was remaining tight-lipped over the alleged illicit assets for the sake of the investigation.

“There is information that we cannot disclose publicly as it might affect the investigation,” Bambang said, refusing to estimate the value of the assets belonging to Anas that had been tracked down by the KPK so far.

“We cannot say a figure if the investigation is still in progress. Just wait until it is done,” he said.

Graft suspects, Bambang added, always hid their ill-gotten assets systematically, thus, advanced efforts should also be carried out when tracing them.

Earlier, graft convict and former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin disclosed that Anas owned a number of illicit assets across the country, including a hotel in Bali and a mining company, PT Panahatan, in Riau.

Anas, who has been in KPK custody since Jan. 10 this year for graft, has been accused of violating the 2010 amendment of the Money Laundering Law and the 2003 version of the same law, which combined carry a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment.

The decision charge Anas under the 2003 version of the law indicates that he allegedly laundered ill-gotten money while serving as a commissioner at the General Elections Commission (KPU) between 2001 and 2005.

Before being named a money-laundering suspect, Anas was also named a suspect in the graft-ridden Hambalang sports complex project in West Java for allegedly accepting a new car from PT Adhi Karya, the construction firm that won the tender.

KPK investigators also accused him of accepting Rp 2.2 billion (US$194,000) from the same company to fund his successful campaign for party chair during the Democratic congress in 2010.

Nazaruddin said that Anas owned a number of assets that were allegedly given by Teuku Bagus Mohammad Noor of PT Adhi Karya.

Anas’ legal team said that they allowed the KPK to confiscate assets belonging to their client as long as there was enough evidence to prove the assets were related to money laundering.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in General

 
 
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