In what appears to be the court proceedings of the country’s biggest corruption case, former Bank Indonesia (BI) deputy governor Budi Mulya is being indicted on Thursday for allegedly misusing his authority in the bailout of Bank Century in 2008, which has apparently resulted in major state losses.
The trial, less than 34 days prior to the legislative election, will examine how the defendant and others decided on a bailout that eventually swelled tenfold, to Rp 6.76 trillion (US$583.6 million) from Rp 630 billion.
Aside from the scale of the state losses, estimated by the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) to be to the tune of Rp 7.4 trillion, the case may also implicate high-profile luminaries such as Vice President Boediono, who was the BI governor during the bailout, and chairman of the powerful Financial Services Authority (OJK) Muliaman Hadad, who was BI deputy governor at the time.
The proceedings will also help to uncover claims voiced by politicians alleging that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s inner-circle misused the bailout to finance his 2009 reelection bid.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said on Wednesday that the trial, slated to be held at the Jakarta Corruption Court, was not in any way politically motivated or engineered to sideline certain parties ahead of the election on April 9.
“Allegations that this is engineered are irrelevant. We don’t care about the election; our job is to enforce the law,” said KPK spokesman Johan Budi. “We have been investigating the case for a long [time]. Thus, it has nothing to do with elections.”
A KPK document on Budi’s indictment, a copy of which was recently obtained by The Jakarta Post, reveals that Budi will be charged with violating articles 2 and 3 of Law No. 20/2001 on corruption in conjunction with articles 55 and 64 of the Criminal Code on collective crime and continuous crime, respectively.
The KPK also cited Article 2 of Law No. 20/2001 that regulates self-enrichment and Article 3 of Law No. 20/2001, which regulates self-enrichment and corporation.
The indictment also alleges that Budi accepted Rp 1 billion from Bank Century shareholder Robert Tantular in August 2008, around four months before the bailout decision.
If found guilty, Budi will face a maximum of 20 years in prison.
According to the KPK indictment, Budi’s alleged crime was committed “collectively” by Boediono, BI senior deputy governor Miranda Goeltom and BI deputy governors Siti C. Fadjrijah, Budi Rochadi, Muliaman Hadad, Hartadi Sarwono and Ardhayadi Mitroatmodjo.
The KPK, according to the document, alleges that Budi and his “colleagues” abused their authority in channeling short-term assistance (FPJP) to keep Bank Century, now Bank Mutiara, afloat.
They are also alleged to have abused their authority in categorizing Bank Century as a potentially failed bank that posed a systemic threat to the banking sector.
Apart from Budi, no others have been declared suspects by the KPK. However, the commission usually defers prosecuting others until the court hands down its verdict on the first suspect.
“It’s a political case from the very beginning, as it involves the House of Representatives [in pushing for a special investigation],” said political analyst Heri Budianto of the Political Communication (Polcomm) Institute.
“It will be interesting to see how Yudhoyono handles [the situation], as it involves his vice president. Will he tell Boediono to resign to focus on his case, as he told Anas Urbaningrum to resign?” he said.
Anas is a former Democratic Party chairman who was told to resign last year due to an alleged graft case.
“The decision by the KPK to slap collective crime articles on Budi and his colleagues should be very much appreciated. The naming of Boediono in the collective indictment has serious political consequences,” said Muhammad Misbakhun, one of the initiators of the legislative inquiry into the Bank Century controversy.
“Materially, Boediono has been indicted although, formally, he has not yet been declared a suspect,” he said.
Boediono has repeatedly denied any wrongdoings in his decision to bail out the bank.