Health Minister might be involved in bird flu graft case: suspect
Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih: Indonesia Health Minister. JP/Wendra Ajistyatama
Former director general of medical services at the Health Ministry, Ratna Dewi Umar, said Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih may have been involved in a botched procurement project of health equipment used to mitigate bird flu 2006 and 2007.
On Thursday, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) once again grilled Ratna, a suspect in the case that centers on the alleged mark-up of the equipment’s price.
Ratna said that Endang was in charge of the department that proposed the procurement at the time of the case.
“The proposal for the procurement of the avian flu drugs was under the department of biomedical and pharmaceutical research and development,” Ratna said after the questioning. “Endang was the department head during the 2007 procurement.”
Ratna claimed she did not know Endang’s role in the case, however, she said that she has “given everything she knows about Endang’s role to the KPK investigators.”
Ratna insisted that the medical service directorate under her supervision was not responsible for the procurement.
On Monday, Endang failed to show up for KPK questioning as a witness in the case, claiming that she was not feeling well.
KPK also questioned on Thursday former health minister Siti Fadillah Supari, who held office from 2004 to 2009.
Siti claimed, as Ratna’s superior at the time of the case, she did not know that the procurement was troubled.
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