Members of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) claim to know next to nothing about Ahmad Fathanah, the man at the center of the graft scandal that has implicated the partyâ€™s chairman.
PKS executive Refrizal told reporters that Ahmad, who was said to be a close aide of Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq, was not registered as a member of the party, let alone as an employee of a party member.
â€śI know Lutfhi. Weâ€™ve been friends since the 80s so I know the people around him. But I donâ€™t know anything about this Ahmad guy who claims to be Luthfiâ€™s special staffer. He is not our member. Some of our members told me that Ahmad was often known to brag about his close ties with Luthfi to secure projects at the House of Representatives,â€ť he told reporters on Thursday.
When asked if the party had ever reprimanded Ahmad for touting his connections with Luthfi for personal gain, the politician refused to answer, saying that the graft scandal that has implicated the party had been politically engineered.
Separately, Prihandoko, an executive from the PKS branch in Depok, West Java, confirmed that Ahmad, who lives in Depok, was not registered as a member of the local party. â€śI asked Pak Luthfiâ€™s personal aide and he can assure me that LHI doesnâ€™t know [Ahmad] nor did he have contacts with him,â€ť Prihandoko said, referring to Luthfiâ€™s initials.
Prihandoko said that most PKS members believed that there has been a plot to discredit the party before the West Java gubernatorial election in February and the 2014 elections.
On Thursday, four KPK investigators searched Ahmadâ€™s apartment in Depokâ€™s Margonda Residence and took into evidence a laptop and several documents, among other things, after a four-hour search.
A source close to KPK who declined to be named said that one of Ahmadâ€™s five wives, a 25-year-old woman who is expecting a baby next month, witnessed the search accompanied by Ahmadâ€™s 42-year-old younger brother.
According to the source, Ahmad shares the apartment with his five wives and 11 children. A naked Ahmad was arrested by the KPK in a sting operation at the Le Meredien Hotel in Central Jakarta with a naked 20-year-old college student on Wednesday evening.