Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Tue, March 25 2014, 10:01 AM
Graft suspect and former Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum had claimed he received cash from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the latter’s private residence in Cikeas, West Java, following the election in 2009, a lawyer said on Monday.
“The money was handed over in Cikeas. The total amount that Yudhoyono gave to Anas was Rp 250 million [US$21,968], of which Rp 200 million was spent as a down payment for a Toyota Harrier, which has since been seized by the Corruption Eradication Commission [KPK],” Anas’ lawyer Firman Wijaya told reporters at KPK headquarters.
He said the Harrier was a “thank you” from the party for Anas’ hard work during the 2009 legislative and presidential elections.
“We have a witness who can confirm that Yudhoyono directly gave Anas the money in Cikeas,” Firman said, without revealing the witness’ identity.
Earlier, the KPK had stated that the car was a “thank you gift” from construction company PT Adhi Karya, the company awarded the tender for the graft-ridden Hambalang sports complex in West Java.
Anas has been declared a suspect in the Hambalang case for allegedly accepting the Toyota Harrier and
Rp 2.2 billion from Adhi Karya.
Besides the money he allegedly received from Yudhoyono, Anas previously said Yudhoyono’s 2009 reelection campaign had been funded by money tied to the Bank Century bailout in 2008.
Firman claimed that his client, formerly a member of Yudhoyono’s inner circle, knew a great deal about the party’s internal affairs, including the flow of money in and out of the party.
“[Anas] is a very credible source to explain the financial activities of the party. Those people who mock him for raising these new allegations have no idea what Anas knows,” Firman said.
Anas revealed last month that Yudhoyono had once instructed him to “safeguard” the Century bailout discussions at the House of Representatives while he was chairman of the House’s Democratic Party faction.
Firman said the campaign donations, totaling Rp 232 billion, given to the Democratic Party in 2009 came not only from Century bailout funds but also from “other illicit sources”.
Current chair of the Democrats’ faction in the House, Nurhayati Ali Assegaff, lambasted media outlets for what she called the “excessive reporting” on Anas’ latest allegations against Yudhoyono, accusing the media of playing politics ahead of the legislative election
“I don’t care about Anas’ allegations as they are all untrue. But why ahead of the legislative election are media outlets giving Anas the space to make these allegations against the Democratic Party? The degree of independence of media outlets is determined by their owners’ [respective political interests],” Nurhayati said on Monday as quoted