Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Thu, March 06 2014, 8:23 AM
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has slapped money laundering charges against disgraced former Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum, currently being detained for his alleged involvement in the high-profile graft scandal surrounding the Hambalang sports complex project.
“Investigators have found two strong pieces of evidence to name AU as a money laundering suspect,” KPK spokesman Johan Budi told a press briefing on Wednesday at KPK headquarters, referring to Anas by his initials.
Anas was accused of violating articles 3 and 4 of the 2010 Money Laundering Law and articles 3 and 6 of the 2003 Money Laundering Law, which combined carry a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment.
However, the KPK did not elaborate further on its new allegations against Anas, and only announced it was currently tracing his assets but did not mention the sum of Anas’ alleged illicit assets.
The use of the 2003 Money Laundering Law indicates that Anas had allegedly laundered ill-gotten money during his time as a commissioner at the General Elections Commission (KPK) 2001-2005. “We are still tracing Anas’ assets allegedly tied to money laundering and have not confiscated anything yet,” Johan said.
Anas was named a suspect in the graft-ridden Hambalang sports complex project in West Java for allegedly accepting a Toyota Harrier sedan from the construction firm that won the tender.
KPK investigators also accused Anas of accepting Rp 2.2 billion (US$189,958) from the same company to fund his campaign during the Democrats congress in 2010, during which he was elected chairman.
Graft convict and former Democrats treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin earlier said that Anas hid Rp 2 trillion in Singapore from rigging dozens of state projects, thanks to his position as chairman of the ruling party, which had a huge influence on state institutions, allegations that Anas had rejected.
Nazaruddin said that the money was going to be used by Anas to finance his planned presidential bid, but he was arrested for graft before the election.
Responding to the new status of his client, Anas’ lawyer Firman Wijaya said “the investigation is going nowhere and has deviated from the primary allegations”.
Firman accused the KPK of playing with the law in Anas’ case and tried to focus on issues unrelated to the primary allegations.
“It would be better if the KPK brought the case to court as soon as possible so the public would have a crystal clear view of the case,” Firman said on Wednesday.
He also accused the KPK of playing politics by naming Anas a money laundering suspect one day before the first hearing in the highly politicized Bank Century trial, which allegedly implicated Vice President Boediono and the government.
The Hambalang graft scandal has also implicated another senior Democrats lawmaker, Andi Mallarangeng, who was former youth and sports minister. Andi is expected to face court next week as KPK prosecutors have handed over their dossiers to the court.