Justices grilled by KPK on Akil cases, again

Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Wed, February 26 2014, 10:03 AM

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has dug deeper into the possible role of other Constitutional Court justices in graft cases surrounding election disputes at the court just days after its former chief justice, Akil Mochtar, was indicted for graft and money laundering.

Court justices Maria Farida Indrati and Anwar Usman, who worked on the same panel as Akil when he allegedly rigged a Lebak regency election dispute, met the KPK summons on Tuesday.

The two justices gave their testimony on the Lebak election dispute, in which Akil allegedly received Rp 1 billion (US$85,845) to rule in favor of the pair of Amir Hamzah-Kasmin Saelani, a ticket backed by Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah.

The KPK earlier pledged that it would prosecute others individuals involved in the bribery cases soon after a final verdict for Akil was issued.

KPK spokesman Priharsa Nugraha said the two justices were questioned regarding the role of Atut, who had instructed her brother, Tubagus Chaeri “Wawan” Wardana, a well-known politically wired Banten businessman, in a scheme to provide Rp 1 billion for Akil.

Wawan, Atut and lawyer Susi Tur Andayani, the go-between in the bribery scheme, have been detained by the KPK.

“They were questioned as witnesses for RAC in relation to the Lebak election case,” KPK spokesman Priharsa Nugraha said on Tuesday, referring to Atut’s initials.

Speaking after questioning, Anwar said that it was Akil who made the decision regarding who would be the panel members adjudicating local election disputes at the court, including the appointment of himself and Maria for the Lebak election dispute.

“Pak Akil decided membership of the panels,” Anwar said, adding that Akil did intervene in the decision-making process regarding the Lebak election dispute.

Anwar declined to respond to questions on whether Akil could have rigged the results of other election disputes.

Akil, who was caught red-handed accepting a bribe in October last year, is currently standing trial for acquiring Rp 57 billion from rigging 10 elections as well as for laundering a total of Rp 160 billion during his term at the court and Rp 20 billion when he was a lawmaker at the House of Representatives.

The local elections — which Akil attached a price tag upward of Rp 500 million to Rp 20 billion — were Lebak regency with a bribe of Rp 1 billion; Gunung Mas regency (Rp 3 billion); South Lampung regency (Rp 500 million); Palembang city (Rp 19.8 billion); Empat Lawang regency (Rp 10 billion and US$500,000); Buton regency (Rp 1 billion); Morotai Island regency (Rp 2.9 billion); Central Tapanuli regency (Rp 1.8 billion); and Banten province (Rp 7.5 billion).

Meanwhile, Maria said that KPK investigators did not ask about other election disputes that involved Akil as an adjudicator.

“Investigators only questioned us about the Lebak election, especially about the re-vote as instructed by the ruling,” Maria said on Tuesday.


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