Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Sat, February 01 2014, 9:42 AM
The arrest in China recently of high-profile graft fugitive Anggoro Widjojo may lead to a new investigation into the alleged involvement of a former minister and leader of an Islamic party in the case against the rogue businessman.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said Friday it would investigate further the involvement of other possible suspects in the graft case, which centers on the procurement of an Integrated Radio Communication System (SKRT) at the Forestry Ministry, which was led at the time by Crescent Star Party (PBB) chairman MS Kaban.
“We need to carry out a further investigation to reveal the roles of other parties in the case,” KPK chairman Abraham Samad said when asked whether the agency would go after Kaban.
KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto concurred with Abraham, saying “as long as investigators have strong grounds”, his office would definitely net other suspects in the case.
Anggoro was arrested by the Shenzhen Police in China on Wednesday. He had apparently fled to Singapore just before the KPK imposed a travel ban on him in August 2008.
Bambang said Anggoro’s whereabouts were initially traced on Jan. 27, 2014, when he traveled from Shenzhen to Hong Kong.
“He was arrested on the way back to Shenzhen at a border checkpoint. He was then taken to Guangzhou, where KPK investigators and officials from the Immigration Directorate General arrived to pick him up,” Bambang said.
It remains unclear how Anggoro moved so easily from one country to another before being arrested; it is believed he falsified immigration documents.
Anggoro’s suspect activities date back to early 2008 when the KPK probed former legislator Yusuf Emir Faisal for reportedly accepting bribes from Anggoro to secure a project bid for the latter’s company, PT Masaro Radiokom, which was granted the SKRT tender between 2006 and 2007, despite not going through the bidding process.
The project was frozen during M. Prakoso’s leadership of the Forestry Ministry in 2004, but once Kaban took the helm, the project was reinstated, thanks to bribes allegedly paid by Anggoro to a number of lawmakers from the House of Representatives’ Commission IV overseeing plantations, who recommended the continuation of the project in 2007.
The case has resulted in the conviction of a number of politicians, including Faisal, who was sentenced to 4.5 years in 2009, as well as former Golkar Party lawmaker Azwar Chesputra, former National Awakening Party (PKB) lawmaker Hilman Indra and former Golkar legislator Fahri Andi Leluasa, who was sent down for four years in 2010.
Kaban, who was questioned as a witness in the case in 2012, remains at liberty, although previous trial hearings indicated that he was aware of the corruption.
In 2012, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) urged the KPK to name Kaban a suspect in the case. “Without a doubt, Kaban signed off on the appointment of Masaro in the case. He also knew about the bribes,” the ICW’s Emerson Yuntho said.
Kaban said he welcomed Anggoro’s arrest and advised the KPK to continue its investigation into Anggoro’s case. “I think this is good. The KPK has secured an achievement and should be appreciated,” he said Thursday as quoted by tempo.co.
Anggoro’s case made headlines in 2009 after his brother, Anggodo Widjojo, triggered a conflict between the National Police and the KPK,
Popularly known as the “Gecko vs Crocodile” dispute, most members of the public sided with the antigraft body.
On the run
June 19: The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) names Anggoro Widjojo, a director of PT Masaro Radiokom, a suspect for bribing legislators to secure the SKRT project.
June 26: The KPK issues a summons to question Anggoro, but Anggoro does not show up at KPK headquarters.
June 29: Anggoro fails to answer a second summons.
July 17: The KPK place Anggoro on the police’s most-wanted list.
May 4: The KPK starts to investigate the case again after a long hiatus. Investigators question Azwar Chesputra, a former Golkar Party lawmaker who was sentenced in July 2010 to four years in prison for accepting bribes from Anggoro to secure the SKRT project budget.
Jan. 30, 2014: The KPK, in cooperation with the Chinese police, Indonesia’s immigration office and Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), flies Anggoro home.
Jan. 27: Anggoro is discovered traveling from Shenzhen, China, to Hong Kong.
Jan. 29: He is arrested upon his return to Shenzhen by Chinese police.
Source: The Jakarta Post