Fresh corruption allegation hits Dems


Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Tue, February 04 2014, 9:59 AM

The ruling Democratic Party is staring down the barrel of yet another graft allegation, with a disgruntled member accusing executive chairman Syarief Hasan of involvement in the rigging of a government project.

I Gede Pasek Suardika, supporter of ousted Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum, called on Syarief to step down from his post as Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister to focus on a graft case that his son was implicated in.

Pasek said that Syarief should heed the words of Democratic Party chief patron President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who said party members involved in graft cases should resign.

“Anas was asked to do so [and he obeyed], therefore, Syarief should also concentrate on the videotron case,” Pasek said on Monday at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarters, referring to a graft case at Syarief’s ministry that Syarief’s son, Riefan Avran, was alledgedly involved in.

Pasek said that the case, which centered on the procurement of Jumbotrons for multimedia digital advertisement by the ministry, was currently being handled by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

PT Imaje Media, which was allegedly owned by Riefan, won the procurement project worth Rp 17 billion (US$1.39 million) in 2012.

Contacted separately, AGO spokesman Setia Untung Arimuladi told The Jakarta Post on Monday that the case was being handled by the Jakarta Prosecutor’s Office.

“You should contact the Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson if you want to know anything about the case,” Untung said.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said on Monday that the antigraft body would look into the case.

“I would have to check the information on the case,” he said when asked whether the case was being supervised by his office.

On Dec. 24, 2013, the Jakarta Prosecutor’s Office questioned Riefan as a witness in the case, despite calls mounting for prosecutors to name him a suspect.

Head of the Jakarta Prosecutor’s Office Adi Toegarisman earlier said that Syarief could be questioned as a witness in the case.

“Don’t ask where we are headed [whether Syarief will be questioned]. We are still gathering facts to support the investigation, we will detain whoever is involved,” Adi said.

Prosecutors have named three suspects in the case: Hasnawi Bachtiar, an official at the ministry; Kasiyadi, a member of the procurement committee at the ministry; and Hendra Saputra, an office boy at PT Imaje Media company, whose name was listed as a company executive director.

In his visit to the KPK on Monday, Pasek also threw accusations at other members of the Democratic Party.

“In terms of the number involved in the case, it is a lot. There is also the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry case. So, party members should focus on handling these cases in the first place,” Pasek said.

The KPK recently named former Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry secretary-general Waryono Karno a suspect in a graft case centering on activities at the ministry, which is headed by Jero Wacik — another senior Democratic Party member.

During a raid at Waryono’s office in August last year, the KPK confiscated $200,000. Jero has repeatedly denied allegations that the money — allegedly from former head of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKKMigas) Rudi Rubiandini — was intended for him.

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