Headlines

Emir enjoyed wine, entertainment
in Paris

It is not only a bad day for the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the party’s senior politician Izedrik Emir Moeis, but also for the family of the lawmaker.

The politician, who has been named as a graft suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), allegedly spent the bribe money on adult entertainment on his visit to Paris.

The antigraft body named Emir a suspect for allegedly receiving US$300,000 in bribes from energy infrastructure company PT Alstom Indonesia, a subsidiary of French-based conglomerate Alstom, in connection to the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Tarahan, Lampung, in 2004. In addition to cash bribes, the firm was also rumored to have entertained Emir in Paris, providing him with free accommodation and other facilities, including visits to adult entertainment venues. Emir also allegedly spent the money he received from Alstom to shop in the European city. The facilities were allegedly part of Alstom’s kickbacks after it eventually won the bidding for the project.

Responding to the case, Alstom Indonesia said in a statement to The Jakarta Post on Friday that the company had been informed about the investigation into the project. “At this stage, Alstom is not in a position to comment further.”

KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto confirmed that Emir had allegedly enjoyed illicit grants and facilities from the company but refused to elaborate. The “adult entertainment” was now being investigated.

On Friday, Emir admitted he had been invited by Alstom officials to Paris but only to attend a dinner reception. “I paid for the flight and hotel myself. I even paid for my own taxi from the airport to the hotel,” he told reporters. Emir also admitted he had made contact with some foreigners working for Alstom but denied that he had helped the firm win the project tender. “I drank wine and smoked a cigar with them, that’s all. I cannot even recall their identities now,” he said.

On Thursday, the KPK raided three locations, including Emir’s house in Kalibata, South Jakarta, the house of PT Artha Nusantara Utama director Zuliansyah Putra, and the office of tender winner PT Alstom Indonesia in Pondok Pinang, South Jakarta. The raids were part of the KPK’s efforts to collect more evidence and target additional suspects in the case.

“I was also no longer in the House of Representatives’ energy Commission at the time of the project, so I have nothing to do with it,” Emir added. The government has slapped a travel ban on Emir, who has not yet been detained by the KPK.

Emir has been implicated in numerous corruption cases but has always managed to escape the charges.

In 2010, trial hearings revealed that Emir had instructed Dudhie Makmun Murod, a former PDI-P lawmaker, to distribute traveler’s checks worth Rp 9.8 billion (US$1.02 million) to other PDI-P lawmakers in the high-profile Bank Indonesia vote-buying scandal, which resulted in the election of Miranda S. Goeltom as senior deputy governor of the bank. Miranda is currently standing trial.

Emir was also implicated in a graft case in the procurement of medical equipment to handle the bird flu pandemic at the Office of the Coordinating People’s Welfare Minister in 2006. Emir, who was then chairman of the House’s budgetary committee, was said to have received Rp 200 million in the form of traveler’s checks from the ministry’s former secretary, Sutedjo Yuwono. Sutedjo was sentenced to three years in prison for abusing his authority.

Emir has also been implicated in a solar power plant project for the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, in which Rp 2.7 billion of the Rp 8.9 billion project cost was allegedly embezzled.

He was summoned in July 2011 by the KPK as a witness in a graft case surrounding the Outsourcing Roll-Out-Customer Information System (CIS-RISI) project at the state-electricity company PT PLN.

Emir may have been able to escape all those charges, but the “adult entertainment” issue is a severe blow for his family members.

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