Antigraft body questions Anas over dubious Hambalang project
Question time:: Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum (center), joined by a number of Democratic Party executives and his lawyer, arrives at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday. The KPK summoned Anas for questioning in connection with alleged irregularities in the sports complex construction project in Hambalang, West Java. JP/Jerry AdigunaThe Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators questioned Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum on Wednesday over graft allegations surrounding the sports facilities construction project in Hambalang, West Java.
Many were skeptical that the questioning would lead the antigraft body to name suspects in the Rp 1.52 trillion (US$164 million) project.
So far, more than 70 people have been questioned but no suspects have been declared.
Arriving at the KPK building, the party chairman was accompanied by fellow Democratic Party politicians including Saan Mustofa, Andi Nurpati and I Gede Pasek Suardika.
After more than seven hours of questioning, Anas left the investigation room and informed journalists about the session.
“I explained [to the KPK’s investigators] about the Democratic Party’s organizational structure and its mechanism, including its financial management,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Anas said he was also asked about his role when he was head of the Democratic Party’s faction in the House of Representatives and his role as a member of House Commission X, which oversees education, youth affairs, sports, tourism, art and culture.
KPK investigators apparently spent the questioning session clarifying earlier statements from lawmakers that said Anas had actively played a role in the deliberation of the Hambalang project at the House.
The Hambalang project was under the supervision of the Youth and Sports Ministry, of which Andi Mallarangeng, a Democratic Party politician, is the current minister.
Former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin, who has been convicted of accepting bribes in the SEA Games athlete’s village graft scandal, repeatedly accused Anas of having been involved in the Hambalang project.
The Youth and Sports Ministry kicked off the project in 2010 with a multiyear-funds scheme at a cost of Rp 1.52 trillion to the state budget.
It appointed state-owned company PT Adhi Karya as the project manager under a joint operation scheme (KSO) with another state-owned company, PT Wijaya Karya.
Nazaruddin claimed he had used one of his companies, PT Anugrah Nusantara, to help Adhi Karya win the tender for the project. According to Nazaruddin, he jointly owned PT Anugrah with Anas.
Nazaruddin accused Anas of controlling the procurement of the project and also playing a role in the issuance of a land certificate for the project.
He alleged the money that Anas received from the project was spent on financing his campaign and election as party chairman during the Democratic Party congress in Bandung in 2010.
KPK spokesperson Johan Budi confirmed the antigraft body had questioned over 70 people in relation to the case since it launched a pre-investigation in August, but as yet has not named a suspect.
Among the individuals questioned by the KPK were Andi and Anas’s wife, Athiyah Laila, who was an executive of PT Dutasari
Citralaras, one of companies that won a subcontract project for the Hambalang project.
KPK chairman Abraham Samad has said that the KPK would soon name a suspect in the case, however, the result of KPK’s latest case expose last Friday said it needed to question more people before scaling up the investigation.
Aside from Nazaruddin, House of Representatives lawmakers Ignatius Mulyono and Zulfadhli have also alleged that Anas had a role in the graft case.