Detention awaits Anas, Andi after Lebaran
Hans Nicholas Jong
The Jakarta Post
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has said it will detain two high-profile suspects in the Hambalang graft case, Anas Urbaningrum and Andi Alfian Mallarangeng, after the Idul Fitri holiday, which falls on Aug. 8.
Anas, the former chairman of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party, was named a suspect in the corruption case for allegedly accepting a gratuity in the form of a Toyota Harrier SUV in 2009 from state-owned construction company PT Adhi Karya, the firm that won the project to build the Rp 1.17 trillion (US$115 million) Hambalang sports complex in West Java.
Meanwhile Andi, a former youth and sports minister who is also a former secretary of the Democratic Party board of patrons, was named a suspect for allegedly abusing his authority with regard to the graft-ridden project.
'Insya Allah [God willing], I predict it [the arrests] will take place after Idul Fitri,' said KPK chairman Abraham Samad at the antigraft body's headquarters in Kuningan, South Jakarta, on Friday night.
Both Andi and Anas have been banned from traveling overseas since they were named suspects in December last year and February this year respectively. It is also expected that the KPK will soon detain PT Adhi Karya operational director Teuku Bagus Muhammad Noor in connection with the case.
Abraham said the commission had to complete documentation of the case before detaining the three suspects. In the graft case centering on the Hambalang sports complex project, the KPK named four suspects, including Deddy Kusdinar, a senior official at the Youth and Sports Ministry now detained by the KPK.
The commission questioned both Andi and Teuku on Friday. Meanwhile, Anas has not been questioned as a suspect as yet because the KPK is still looking into other gratuities he may have accepted apart from the Harrier; a Toyota Vellfire and money to assist his candidacy in the Democratic Party congress in 2010.
Speaking after his three-hour questioning session, Andi said that the KPK asked for his confirmation about new developments in the case. 'I was asked to clarify new information received by the KPK and I explained about the things that I know and the things that I do not know,' he told reporters.
Andi, however, declined to elaborate on the content of the questioning. He also refused to comment on the involvement of Sylvia Sholehah, a close friend of First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, who was rumored to have acted as a middleperson between politicians and government officials involved in the project and contractors. 'That's all [I have to say],' he said when asked about Sylvia's role in the case.
Teuku Bagus, meanwhile, said after being questioned for six hours that he was being used as a scapegoat by the so-called 'project mafia'. 'We [Adhi Karya] were being extorted and manipulated by them,' he said.
Teuku's lawyer, Haryo Budi Wibowo, refused to elaborate on the claim, saying that he and his client had informed the KPK about it. 'Let the KPK be the one to explain it to the public. We'll just have to wait,' Haryo said. He added that his client was ready to be a justice collaborator to uncover the case to its roots.
Abraham said that the KPK would have to verify the list of names submitted by Teuku before it could take further steps. 'All information needs to be verified. We will follow up [on the list],' he said.
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