Former Religious Affairs Ministry official indicted for Koran graft

Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Tue, January 07 2014, 10:05 AM

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors on Monday indicted a former top official at the Religious Affairs Ministry for his roles in the graft case surrounding the procurement of Korans, the Islamic holy book.

The KPK has accused the ministry’s former director of sharia guidance, Ahmad Jauhari, of enriching himself and other people in the procurement of Korans project during the period of 2011 and 2012 at the Ministry.

“The defendant has embezzled Rp 100 million [US$8,200] and $15,000 [from the project],” prosecutor Antonius Budi Satria told the Jakarta Corruption Court.

Prosecutors said that Ahmad worked with other individuals in the ministry, including Abdul Karim, the secretary-general at Ahmad’s directorate, Mashuri, a staffer at the ministry, deputy Religious Affairs Ministry Nasaruddin Umar, middlemen Zulkarnaen Djabar, Golkar Party politician Fahd El Fouz, directors of PT Adhi Aksara Abadi Indonesia Ali Djufrie and of PT Sinergi Pustaka Indonesia Abdul Kadir Alaydrus.

Jauhari is said to have enriched Mashuri, who received Rp 50 million and $5,000; PT Perkasa Jaya Abadi Nusantara, which is owned by Zulkarnaen’s family, with Rp 6,7 billion; PT Adhi Aksara Abadi Indonesia with Rp 5.8 billion; and PT Sinergi Pustaka Indonesia with 21.2 billion

Prosecutors said that before the project tender, Zulkarnaen, who was a member of the House of Representatives’ commission VII overseeing religion and the House’s budget committee (Banggar), asked Fahd to become a middle man to secure the project for the Ministry and to arrange that the project would be won by companies recommended by Fahd.

Fahd and Zulkarnaen as well as Dendy Prasetia then met with Nasaruddin, who was the Ministry’s Islamic Education directorate general when the corruption took place, and Abdul Karim. “Fahd and his friends introduced themselves as an envoy of the House of Representatives,” Antonius said.

According to prosecutors, Nasaruddin and Abdul Karim as well as Jauhari convinced that they were ready to help the project. PT Adhi Aksara Abadi Indonesia then was decided as the winner of the project in 2011, prosecutors said.

For the procurement of Korans in 2012, Jauhari set PT Sinergi Pustaka Indonesia as the winner of the project. For his service, Jauhari received Rp 100 million and $15,000 from Abdul Karim and Ali Djufrie.

The value of the Koran procurement project was Rp 20 billion in 2011 and Rp 55 billion in 2012. According to an audit of Investigation by the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) the state losses resulted from the graft-ridden project was Rp 27 billion from the Koran procurement projects in 2011 and 2012.

If found guilty, Jauhari could face 20 years behind bars for his alleged corruption.

According to the KPK, the Religious Affairs Ministry was the most corrupt institution of 22 government agencies it surveyed in 2011.

The ministry received 5.37 points out of a possible 10, below the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, which received 5.44 points, and the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry, which received 5.52 points.

The KPK has previously announced that it uncovered irregularities in the management of Rp 1.7 trillion in interest on payments made by haj pilgrims.

Among the suspects in the case, only two have been sent to prison, Zulkarnaen and his son Dendy Prasetya, with each currently serving 15 years and eight years in prison respectively.


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