Minister plays down KPK arrest speculation
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Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng shrugged off speculation that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is set to name a sitting member of President Susilo Bambang Yudho-yono’s Cabinet a suspect in a graft case.
“Let’s leave it to the KPK. We, at the ministry, will work to assist the KPK in its ivestigation,” Andi told reporters at the State Palace on Wednesday.
Earlier, presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha declined to comment on the issue. “If it has not already happened, I don’t need to comment,” he said.
In a discussion on Tuesday, KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto, responded to a question from reporters about the possibility of naming an active minister a suspect, saying that: “We hope that there will be ministers [being named suspects] in the next couple of months,” Bambang said.
Bambang declined to give more details, but speculation was rife that the new suspect would be in relation to the Hambalang graft case.
Andi oversaw the construction of the Hambalang sports complex in Bogor, West Java. The KPK has said the state may have lost “billions of rupiah” due to graft in the construction of the Rp 2.5 trillion (US$265 million) sports center.
Late last month, the commission named the head of the financial and internal affairs bureau of the Youth and Sports Ministry, Deddy Kusdinar, a suspect in the graft case.
Deddy led the ministry’s financial planning department when the alleged graft took place.
KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto earlier called Deddy “the first rung of the ladder”, which observers took to mean that the KPK might be taking a closer look at his superiors in the ministry.
The Hambalang graft case has also implicated several politicians, including Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum.
The KPK has questioned Anas twice in connection with the case, and is expected to summon him for a third round of questioning before the end of the Ramadhan fasting month.
Andi has also twice answered summons from the KPK.
On Wednesday, KPK investigators also questioned Dedi Rosadi, head of the Youth and Sports Ministry’s Sports Industry Division.
Dedi was asked questions regarding the procurement of utilities for the sports complex.
Earlier, the KPK investigators summonned three other officials from the ministry for questioning: Iyan Sudiyana, Adhi Purnomo and Sanusi M.H.
The KPK has also asked the immigration office to impose bans on overseas travel for three witnesses in the case: Ciriajasa Cipta Mandiri director Aman Santoso, Yodha Karya director Yudi Wahyono and CV Rifa Media director Lisa Lukitawati.