Sports minister implicated in Hambalang case
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Deddy Kusdinar, the first and only suspect in the Youth and Sports Ministry’s graft-ridden Hambalang sports complex, spoke on Monday about the role played by Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng in the scandal.
“I am only a mid-level official with limited authority, so it was impossible for me to arbitrarily change the site plan [of the project]. That was my bosses’ decision,” he told reporters soon after arriving at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for questioning on Monday.
Deddy, a chief of the financial and internal affairs bureau at the ministry, said he had reported directly to ministry secretary Wafid Muharam regarding the project.
Wafid then forwarded the project report to Andi.
A panel of judges at the Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced Wafid to three years in prison last year for accepting a Rp 3.2 billion (US$332,800) bribe to rig bids in the construction of the athletes’ village for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Palembang, South Sumatra.
The KPK, meanwhile, launched its investigation into the Rp 1.17 trillion ($265 million) Hambalang sports complex project in Bogor, West Java in 2011, not long after disgraced former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin voiced allegations that the project was riddled with graft.
The KPK did indeed find irregularities, primarily when the project was handed over from former sports minister Adhyaksa Dault to Andi in 2009.
After Andi assumed control, the project’s site plan was changed and its budget swelled from Rp 125 billion to Rp 1.17 trillion.
The KPK has announced that its probe into Hambalang would target not only the mega-project’s construction but also the procurement of equipment.
The total value of the procurement and the construction is estimated to be Rp 2.5 trillion.
Andi insisted on proceeding with the project, despite the fact that during Adhyaksa’s tenure geologists warned that the 38-hectare plot in Hambalang was “unsuitable” for a large development.
As the investigation has proceeded, the KPK has questioned more than 60 people including Andi and Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum.
Nazaruddin has repeatedly accused Andi and Anas of accepting money from the project, and claiming Anas used his share to pay for his campaign for the Democratic Party chairmanship in Bandung, West Java in 2010.
Last week, Wafid Muharram said after being questioned by the KPK that Andi was not only aware of the project details but was also directly responsible for the project.
“Pak Andi surely knows [about the project]. As the budget’s overseer, he is responsible. We will eventually know who is guilty here,” he said.
Responding to the accusation, Andi said he would support any probe by the KPK. “We will leave it to due process,” Andi said as quoted by kompas.com.
Separately, KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the commission would not be naming new suspects in the case anytime soon, although KPK chairman Abraham Samad hinted there would be a big “surprise” in the Hambalang case within the next few weeks.
Johan said the KPK had charged Deddy under articles 2 and 3 of the 1999 Corruption Law, which indicates that he allegedly took part in a corrupt act initiated by others.
“The KPK named him [Deddy] a suspect because he is an official who had the authority to implement the project. In other words, we allege that he abused his authority for his own benefit and other people,”
Johan said that the KPK would only summon Andi if it had enough information about his complicity.