National

Defendant dies in Miranda
Goeltom bribery case

Former Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) legislator Poltak Sitorus, a defendant in a corruption case linked to the election of a senior figure at the Indonesian central bank, died from a suspected heart attack on Tuesday morning.

"Poltak died from what we believe to have been a heart attack at around 10 o'clock in the morning, just after he had been playing table tennis at his detention center in Cipinang," Petrus Selestinus, a lawyer representing Poltak, told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Tuesday.

Previously, Poltak, along with his former PDI-P colleagues Agus Condro, Max Moein, Rusman Lumbantoruan and Willem

Max Tutuarima, had been facing trial for their alleged acceptance of bribes, in a case that has implicated a total of 29 former and current legislators.

The bribes, allegedly paid in the form of traveler's checks, were believed to have been distributed by businesswoman Nunun Nurbaeti, who on Monday was also declared a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

The bribes were allegedly paid in return for legislators' support for Miranda Swaray Goeltom in the 2004 election of the central bank senior deputy governor.

"There was nothing suspicious about his death. We are currently waiting for his family here at Cipinang detention center," Petrus said.

He added the death immediately cancelled any charges against his client.

Detention center chief Edi Kurniadi confirmed the death, adding that a doctor had checked Poltak's condition.

"[The remains of] Poltak will now be transferred to the Soekanto National Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta," Edi told the Post.

In November last year, another former PDI-P legislator, Jeffrey Tongas Lumban Batu, who had been questioned in relation to the same case but had not been named a suspect, also died from a heart attack.

Jeffery died at Mitra Keluarga Hospital, also in East Jakarta, where he had been undergoing treatment for a week.

The KPK had questioned Jeffrey several times in relation to the alleged bribes.

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