Ruhut grilled on Anas’ money laundering

Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Thu, March 13 2014, 11:28 AM

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) questioned on Wednesday Democratic Party spokesman Ruhut Sitompul to dig for further information regarding the illicit assets of graft and money-laundering suspect Anas Urbaningrum, the party’s former chairman.

“Yes, he [Ruhut] was questioned as a witness for AU,” KPK spokesman Priharsa Nugraha said on Wednesday referring to Anas’ initials.

KPK has named Anas a suspect in the graft-ridden Hambalang sports complex project in West Java, and stands accused of accepting Rp 2.2 billion (US$192,518) and a Toyota Harrier from the construction firm that won the tender.

Anas allegedly used the money to fund his successful campaign for the chairmanship of the Democratic Party in 2010.

The KPK has also charged the former member of the House of Representatives with money laundering after it found ill-gotten assets allegedly connected to Anas across the country.

Ruhut was a member of Anas’ campaign team during the Democratic Party congress in Bandung four years ago when he was selected party chairman, defeating then minister of sport and youth affairs Andi Mallarangeng.

Andi has also been charged in the graft case.

Speaking after the questioning, Ruhut said he knew nothing about Anas’ allegedly laundered assets.

“I told KPK investigators that I had no knowledge about the assets. Overall, I was asked more than 30 questions, including on my relationship with Anas and the 2010 congress,” Ruhut said.

Meanwhile on Friday last week, the KPK confiscated two plots of land — 7,670 and 200 square meters in size — in Mantrijeron district in Yogyakarta; three plots of land of undisclosed size, in Panggungharjo village, in Sewon subdistrict, Bantul regency, Yogyakarta; and a plot of land and a house on Jl. Duren Sawit, East Jakarta.

An internal source at the KPK recently said that the confiscated property had been purchased with funds accrued by Anas from graft, including in the Hambalang project.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi last week said that all the confiscated property was registered under the name of Anas’ father-in-law Attabik Alil, who is a senior cleric at Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).

“The asset tracing is still ongoing and if investigators find strong evidence of the existence of other [illicit] assets then more seizures will occur,” Johan said.

Anas’ Lawyer Handika Honggowongso said the five plots of land were bought by Attabik using money from his business.


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