Banker to sue Kalla for defamation
JAKARTA: Robert Tantular, the former part-owner of Bank Century, has threatened to sue former vice president Jusuf Kalla for defamation, alleging the latter had called him "a robber".
"We will press our charges with the National Police," Robert's lawyer, Heru Suyanto, said Monday as quoted by detik.com.
He added Kalla's statement had sullied Robert's reputation as a businessman.
As vice president, Kalla ordered Robert's arrest last year on suspicion the latter had defrauded customers of Bank Century.
The bank's Rp 6.76 trillion (US$716 million) bailout led to an unprecedented political fallout that has galvanized national attention over the past few months.
Robert was sentenced to four years in prison and fined Rp 50 billion last year by the Central Jakarta District Court. An appeals court upheld the verdict and slapped on an extra year to his prison term.
Heru said his client's arrest was politically charged and had been made at a time when Kalla was at odds with then Bank Indonesia governor Boediono (now the Vice President) over the latter's decision to bail out Century.
"Robert stole no assets from the bank," Heru said.
"The fact was, he was trying hard to help the bank weather the *global economic* crisis."
Kalla has not given an official statement on the planned lawsuit. - JP