The Jakarta Post
Disgraced former House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto will not answer an Attorney General's Office (AGO) summons as part of an investigation into the alleged conspiracy in the PT Freeport Indonesia contract extension negotiations due to a lack of legal basis, according to his attorney.
Setya's attorney Firman Wijaya said on Friday that his client was not afraid of the summons relating to the case of the backroom deal with Freeport.
"Why would we be scared? Of course not. For us the case does not have a legal basis," he said as quoted by kompas.com.
Firman said there were two factors that supported Setya's decision to not answer the summons scheduled for next week.
First, Setya considers the recorded conversation between him, oil businessman Reza Chalid and Freeport's president director Maroef Sjamsoeddin as illegal, and therefore invalid as evidence. He claimed that the Intelligence Law stipulates that only law enforcement and intelligence personnel were allowed to secretly record a conversation.
Moreover, Firman said that a law enforcement institution must first acquire permission from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to question a House member.
"There was no abuse of power committed by Setya. The point is, the meeting does not raise any legal issues. [The case] does not meet legal requirements," he said.
The Attorney General M. Prasetyo said earlier on Friday that he would summon Setya next week.
He claimed that his office did not need to ask for the President's permission as Setya's case was involved suspected corruption.
Setya now serves as Golkar faction head after resigning from his position as House speaker in December after a House ethics council investigation into his alleged attempt to broker a backroom deal with a Freeport executive. Setya and Reza allegedly offered to help accelerate Freeport's contract extension application by using the names of Jokowi and Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and asking for shares in the company in return. (liz/rin)