Haeril Halim and Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Sat, January 11 2014, 9:34 AM
Disgraced former Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum made a thinly veiled attack against President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono soon after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) decided to lock him up for graft.
In a short speech before he was led away to the KPK detention center, Anas thanked the President for his arrest.
“I would like to thank Pak SBY. I hope this day will mean something and, thus, become a New Year’s present [for him],” Anas said.
In his statement, Anas also thanked KPK chairman Abraham Samad and the KPK investigators who handled his case.
Anas was named a suspect by the KPK in February last year concerning the Rp 1.17 trillion (US$121.4 million) Hambalang sports complex graft case.
The KPK accused Anas of accepting a gratuity in the form of a Toyota Harrier while serving as a lawmaker between October 2009 and July 2010.
Graft convict Muhammad Nazaruddin, the former Democratic Party treasurer, claimed that the car was a gift from PT Adhi Karya to Anas when it won the tender for the construction of the Hambalang complex.
KPK investigators also accused Anas of accepting Rp 2.2 billion ($180,400) from the same company to fund his campaign during the party’s congress in 2010, during which he was elected chairman.
Anas’ supporters believed the KPK’s move against the former Democratic Party chairman was politically motivated and that it was orchestrated by the State Palace to remove Anas from his position in the party.
A KPK document, which named Anas a suspect in the graft case, circulated a few hours before President Yudhoyono took over the leadership of his Democratic Party in February, 2013. Thereafter, the President told Anas to concentrate the legal problems he faced.
The KPK decided to detain Anas at its detention center in Kuningan, Central Jakarta, after he twice failed to show up for questioning.
“He’s being detained initially for 20 days. He is accused of violating Law No. 20/2001 on corruption,” KPK spokesman Johan Budi told a press briefing on Friday evening.
Anas could face a maximum prison term of 20 years.
Johan said the KPK investigators had decided to detain Anas without questioning him because he was not accompanied by his defense team.
Johan said that a graft suspect could only be questioned in the presence of his or her lawyers.
“But the decision to detain him had nothing to do with the absence of his lawyers,” Johan said.
He said that following Anas’ arrest, KPK prosecutors handling the case would expedite their investigation by questioning Anas and other suspects and witnesses in the case.
The Hambalang project, which was managed by the Youth and Sports Ministry, was launched when Anas was chairman of the Democratic Party’s faction in the House of Representatives.
He allegedly helped arrange the project for the ministry, which was then headed by former Democratic Party politician Andi Mallarangeng. He helped persuade lawmakers at the House to give the project the green light. The KPK detained Andi in mid-October last year for allegedly accepting Rp 4 billion and $550,000 from the Hambalang project.
Anas’ wife, Athiyyah Laila, is also implicated in the Hambalang scandal. She was a former commissioner at PT Dutasari Citralaras, which was a subcontractor on the Hambalang project. The company is said to have
received Rp 2.8 billion from cash collected from rigging the Hambalang project.
An audit by the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) revealed that the Hambalang case resulted in state losses of Rp 463.66 billion. The Hambalang facility in Bogor, which has now fallen into disrepair, was designed to be a national multi-sports training center. It was initiated by Andi’s predecessor, Adhyaksa Dault, but the budget ballooned from Rp 300 billion to Rp 2.5 trillion under Andi’s leadership.
Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said the President respected the legal process and he urged members of the public not to politicize Anas’ case.
“He [the President] believes that the legal mechanism is running and he puts his trust in it. So, let’s not bring politics into the discussion as this is about the law,” Julian said.
Earlier on Friday, Yudhoyono sent a tweet from his @SBYudhoyono Twitter account stating that the fight against corruption must continue. “It has to be done indiscriminately, for a cleaner Indonesia,” he said.
Anas’s way to detention center
Graft defendant and former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin makes the allegation that Anas Urbaningrum was awash in cash that allowed him to purchase luxury goods and buy votes to win the party’s top job at the party’s congress in Bandung in 2010.
Nazaruddin discloses evidence that PT Adhi Karya paid Rp 100 billion to help Anas win the the party’s election.
Anas says that were he to be found guilty of graft, even if it was only for Rp 1, he would be willing to be shot dead or hanged at the National Monument (Monas).
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) leaders name Anas a suspect and launch a formal investigation into the former Democratic Party chairman.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Democratic Party’s chief patron and head of the party’s supreme assembly, replaces Anas as party chairman.
Anas is detained by the KPK.
Source: The Jakarta Post, Tempo