Susno evades questioning while police reveal new case
Bagus BT Saragih
The Jakarta Post
As Susno’s fear over the possibility to be named suspect reportedly led him to evade questioning, the police have prepared a new crime investigation on the former police chief detective.
Henry Yosodiningrat, a lawyer for Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji, said he did not want to see his client named suspect and detained at the end of a questioning session Thursday.
“We, the team of lawyers for Pak Susno, met with National Police chief detective Comr. Gen. Ito Sumardi,” Henry said. “We asked him to guarantee that the questioning was not a trap. A ‘trap’ means our client begins the questioning as a witness but ends as a suspect.”
Susno was due to undergo a questioning session at the National Police starting at 10 a.m.
One of his lawyers, M. Assegaf, said Susno decided not to attend due to a number of considerations, including unclear statements in the warrant.
“Clarity of information is crucial. For example, in the previous summon, it was clearly stated that Pak Susno would be questioned as a witness in the case brokerage involving Gayus Tambunan,” Assegaf said.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Edward Aritonang said the absence of status in the warrant was normal. The next questioning session for Susno will be next Monday, Edward said.
Susno was the first to reveal alleged case brokering practices involving low-ranking tax officer Gayus Tambunan.
Gayus was initially charged with money laundering and embezzling Rp 380 million (US$41,420) of taxpayers’ money, but the Tangerang District Court declared him innocent on March 12.
Following the revelations, the police formed an independent team to investigate perpetrators allegedly taking part in the brokerages, from police officers, prosecutors and judges.
Speculation is rife that the police are also targeting Susno as the revelations have caused significant damage to the image of the police institution and a number of high-ranking police officers.
A former Foreign Ministry civil servant, Sjahril Djohan, also implicated in the case, told police detectives he had previously handed over Rp 500 million in cash to Susno, according to a recently leaked police document.
The money was said to be a bribe for Susno in connection with an investigation involving a Riau-based arowana fish farming company.
The warrant for Thursday’s questioning session also states that Susno would be quizzed in connection with the case, rising speculation that it would end with Susno’s detention.
After Thursday’s postponed questioning, Edward hinted the police independent detective team had kicked off another investigation on a new case brokerage.
“It involves a man named Johnny Situwanda,” Edward said without elaborating further.
According to reports and documents in a report from the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK), Johnny is a lawyer who several times transferred money totaling Rp 6 billion to Susno’s bank accounts in 2008.
The transactions took place when Susno was chief detective. Susno has denied the accusation. PPATK chairman Yunus Hussein denied that the report was from the institution.
The police may have another case to prove Susno is guilty of bribery.
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