Nazaruddin refuses to return home from Singapore
Bagus BT Saragih
The Jakarta Post
Leaders of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, known for its anti-corruption slogan in the last elections, did not take bribery-linked Muhammad Nazaruddin home after meeting with the troubled lawmaker in Singapore.
Nazaruddin, who has been hit by numerous crime allegations, flew to Singapore on May 23, a day before the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) issued a travel ban on him.
Nazaruddin was also released from his duties as party treasurer amid intensifying rumors of his involvement in a high-profile bribery scandal surrounding the construction of an athletes dormitory in Palembang, South Sumatra, a case currently under KPK investigation.
“Nazaruddin said he suffered a heart attack and had been undergoing medical treatment. He promised to come back to Indonesia as soon as he recovered from his health condition,” party chairman Anas Urbaningrum told a press conference on Monday at the party’s central executive board office in Central Jakarta.
Anas said he did not know when Nazaruddin’s medical treatment would finish.
A team of three elite Democratic Party members — Mohammad Jafar Hafsah, Sutan Bhatoegana and Jhoni Allen Marbun — flew to Singapore and met with Nazaruddin on Saturday.
Party spokeswoman Andi Nurpati previously said the team’s assignment was to take Nazaruddin back to Indonesia as ordered by Yudhoyono, the party’s chief patron.
All three members of the “emissary” team, who also attended the conference, however, denied they had a “mission” to negotiate and take Nazaruddin home.
“We met and talked to him as part of a family. We didn’t discuss legal processes. That is law enforcers’ duty,” Jhoni, whose name has also been implicated in numerous graft cases, told reporters.
Sutan said Nazaruddin was very sick. “He has lost 18 kilograms,” he said.
Despite Nazaruddin’s promise, Jafar said he could not guarantee whether the politician would return to Indonesia. “This is solely Pak Nazaruddin’s decision,” he said.
Sutan said Nazaruddin determined the meeting point in Singapore. He also asked the team not to disclose the meeting place, Sutan added.
“He refused to tell us where his medical treatment took place. He said it could trigger massive media attention and might disrupt his medical treatment,” Sutan said.
Nazaruddin reportedly sought Rp 25 billion (US$2.95 million) in bribes from a construction company that won the project’s tender.
KPK deputy chairman Haryono Umar said the commission had yet to send a questioning warrant to Nazaruddin. “It’s only a matter of time,” he added.
Subiantoro, the director of supervision and compliance of the Financial Transactions Report and Analysis Centre, said on Monday his office had received 13 reports on suspicious financial transactions related to a SEA Games corruption case.
“The reports involve individual and corporate customers at eight banks,” Subiantoro was quoted to say by vivanews.com.
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