National

Swimsuit model questioned
in PKS beef scandal

Fresh meat: Actress and singer Ayu Azhari arrives at the KPK headquarters on Wednesday to testify in the beef importation case. (JP/wendra Ajistyatama)
Fresh meat: Actress and singer Ayu Azhari arrives at the KPK headquarters on Wednesday to testify in the beef importation case. (JP/wendra Ajistyatama)

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) questioned swimsuit model and actress Khadijah Azhari, popularly known as Ayu Azhari, as a witness on Wednesday in the beef importation case involving Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) members.

Ayu was questioned about her relationship with Ahmad Fathanah, aide to former Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chair Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq, and a suspected money launderer.

Ayu, who wore a brown shirt, long blue skirt and a hijab, told investigators during six hours of questioning that she met Fathanah in December, when she was offered gigs singing at several events during regional
elections.

“He was a coordinator for those events,” Ayu told reporters later.

Ayu’s lawyer Fahmi Bachmid said that she was introduced to Fathanah in a meeting at Plaza Indonesia in Jakarta on Dec. 3 last year.

Fathanah promised Ayu, who recently joined the National Awakening Party (PKB), shows in West Java and South Sulawesi.

“I was also introduced to some of his clients, but I don’t know their names,” Ayu said.

Ayu never performed in any of the proposed concerts as there was no follow through from the meeting.

“I have become a victim of his promises,” she said, raising her voice.

Fahmi added that Ayu had never received any money from Fathanah.

When asked if she knew Maharani Suciyono, the college student caught with Ahmad in a hotel room during a raid by the KPK in January, Ayu said, “No, but I was introduced to her by Fathanah.”

Fahmi quickly corrected that statement, saying that Ayu was in fact referring to Fathanah’s wife Sefti Sanustika.

Besides money laundering, the KPK has charged Ahmad with accepting Rp 1 billion (US$102,900) in bribes from meat importers PT Indoguna Utama.

The money was supposedly meant to be delivered to Luthfi, who was to use his position in the PKS to influence the decision on beef import quotas at the ministry headed by Suswono, a fellow senior member of the PKS.

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