Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Thu, January 02 2014, 8:49 AM
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) questioned the Golkar Party’s secretary-general, Idrus Marham, on Tuesday amid allegations that the party had received illicit funds from former member Akil Mochtar, who was charged with corruption and money laundering.
Idrus was grilled for 10 hours as a witness for former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil and denied the allegations.
“We received no money [from Akil],” Idrus told reporters at the KPK’s headquarters.
Idris also denied that the party had instructed Akil in his capacity as chief justice to rule in favor of candidates who were backed by Golkar in regional election disputes.
The KPK had named Akil a suspect in two separate graft cases related to election disputes in Lebak regency in Banten province and Gunung Mas regency in Central Kalimantan province. Shortly after his arrest, the KPK charged Akil with money laundering after the antigraft body collected evidence of Akil’s money-laundering activities by tracing transactions in and out of his bank account, which had amounted to more than Rp 100 billion (US$ 8.2 million).
In relation to the Lebak election dispute, the KPK also named Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah ,who is Golkar’s deputy treasurer, a suspect, while another Golkar lawmaker, Chairun Nisa, was named a suspect in relation to the Gunung Mas election dispute.
Idrus said that KPK investigators had asked him about Golkar’s internal mechanism in choosing regional candidates.
He further said that the KPK did not need to question Golkar chairman Aburizal Bakrie as all information needed by the antigraft body could be answered by the party’s secretary-general.
“This has nothing to do with the chairman [of Golkar Party]. The secretary-general bears the responsibility to explain the party’s internal mechanism [in choosing regional candidate head],” he said, mentioning to his current position as secretary-general of Golkar.
The allegations of cash flow from Akil to Golkar emerged when the KPK had scheduled to question the party’s treasurer, Setya Novanto, on the same day of Idrus’ questioning. Setya, however, could not meet the summons because he was abroad. The KPK has rescheduled Setya’s questioning to next week.
On Monday, KPK chairman Abraham Samad said that his office needed to question the two Golkar dignitaries as their clarifications on a number of things were important for the investigation of Akil’s case.
“Why were they summoned? Because there are things that we want clarified. There are things [information] that needed to be dug out [from them],” Abraham said on Monday, refusing to disclose further details on the pursued clarifications.
In relation to the graft cases implicating Akil, the KPK has confiscated several of Akil’s assets, comprising a house and a plot of land in Karangduwur village, Petanahan, Kebumen regency, Central Java; his family home at Jl. Pancoran Indah III No. 8, South Jakarta; a 6,000 square-meter plot of land planted with mahogany trees in Cimuleuk village, Waluran, Sukabumi; and a 12,600 square-meter plot of land in Singkawang, West Kalimantan. The commission has also seized 33 cars and 31 motorcycles of various brands allegedly related to Akil.
On Monday, the KPK questioned Akil’s family members in connection to the money laundering case. They included Akil’s wife, Ratu Rita and their two children, Aries Adhitya Shafitri and Riki Januar Ananda.