KPK to charge Atut with money laundering on top of bribery

Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Tue, December 24 2013, 9:51 AM

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said on Monday that it would charge Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah with money laundering after already pressing bribery charges against her.

KPK deputy chief Adnan Pandu Praja said that the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) had briefed the antigraft body on a number of suspicious transactions in Atut’s wealth report.

PPATK deputy chairman Agus Santoso confirmed that the agency had handed over documents on the suspicious transactions to the KPK. “Yes, we have handed over the report to the KPK,” he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He said that every report submitted to law enforcement agencies placed money-laundering allegations as the top priority.

The KPK had previously named Atut a suspect for her role in the bribery case involving former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar in relation to an election dispute being heard by the court.

Atut’s brother, Tubagus “Wawan” Chaeri Wardana, and Susi Tur Andayani, a lawyer who was alleged to have been an accomplice of Wawan, have also been named suspects.

Atut, who is Golkar Party deputy treasurer, was charged under Article 6 of Law No. 31/199 on bribery.

The KPK alleges that Atut, together with Wawan, contrived the plot to bribe Akil so that he would rule in favor of their candidates in the disputed local election in Lebak.

Members of Atut’s family control five of Banten’s eight regencies and municipalities, namely her sister in-law, Wawan’s wife Airin Rachmi Diany, the South Tangerang mayor; her stepbrother, Tubagus Haerul Jaman, who serves as Serang’s mayor; her sister, Tatu Chasanah, the Serang deputy regent; and stepmother Heryani, the Pandeglang deputy regent, all of whom are Golkar politicians.

KPK chairman Abraham Samad has said that KPK investigators are looking for more evidence about the involvement of other individuals in the case.

After being named a suspect in the bribery case, Wawan was detained at the KPK detention center in South Jakarta, while Atut is currently being held at the Pondok Bambu Women’s Penitentiary in East Jakarta.

KPK deputy chief Bambang Widjojanto said that the two siblings were being held in different locations to avoid any possible communication between them that might hamper the investigation process.

Separately, Atut’s lawyer Firman Wijaya lambasted the KPK for being too hasty in detaining his client. Atut was detained only three days after being named a suspect.

Firman filed an official request to suspend the detention of Atut on Monday. “I hope that the KPK will approve the request as we know that Atut’s detention will disrupt the running of the government in Banten. My client will not flee as she has been named a suspect and banned from going overseas,” he said.

Responding to Firman’s statement, KPK deputy chief Busyro Muqoddas said that it was unlikely that the KPK would approve the request. “The suspension [of Atut’s detention] is very unlikely,” he said, adding that the approval of the request would create further problems in the future.

On Monday, KPK investigators questioned Atut’s personal assistant Alinda Agustine Quintansari as a witness in the bribery case. Alinda declined to answer questions from reporters after being questioned.

Visiting Wawan at the KPK detention center on Monday, Airin said that she respected the legal process implicating her husband and her sister-in-law.

“Let us honor the legal process, we respect the KPK as a law enforcement institution,” she said.


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