Hartati's suspect status surprises Dems
Siti Hartati Murdaya: (Kompas/Alif Ichwan)
The Democratic Party has again been rocked by a graft scandal as the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named one of its senior politicians, businesswoman Hartati Murdaya, a suspect in the bribery case implicating Buol Regent Amran Batalipu.
Members of the party's board of patrons said that such a move had surprised the Democratic Party.
"We didn't expect that the KPK would name her [Hartati] a suspect in the case. Nonetheless, we respect the antigraft body’s decision. We have no option but to obey the law. We fully trust the KPK to further investigate the case to prove whether or not Hartati is guilty," lawmaker Hayono Isman told reporters at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Hayono added that Hartati would be automatically dismissed from the party.
Separately, Hayono's fellow board member Ahmad Mubarok said that the Democratic Party would not summon Hartati for her alleged role in the bribery case as it had nothing to do with the party.
"I believe that the naming of her as a suspect in the case will not taint our party's image because it has nothing to do with the party. It's purely due to her business. She never even had direct contact with us [in the advisory board] even though she is a member," he said, adding that a team of lawyers was provided by the Democratic Party to assist Hartati in her case.
The KPK named Hartati a suspect in the bribery scandal surrounding illegal procedures in the issuance of a permit for her plantation company.
The anti graft agency charged her under Articles 5 and 13 of the Corruption Law on bribery and Article 55 of the Criminal Code on participation in a crime for allegedly paying Buol Regent Amran Rp 3 billion (US$318,000) to expedite the issuance of the permit for her company.