KPK raids House as two more implicated in PDI-P bribery case
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani
The Jakarta Post
Following the arrest of an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) legislator, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has searched the offices of two other House of Representatives members in connection with a growing bribery scandal.
Having arrested the PDI-P's Damayanti Wisnu Putranti on Wednesday night, KPK investigators on Friday raided the offices of lawmakers Budi Supriyanto of the Golkar Party and Yudi Widiana of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).
The three lawmakers are all members of House Commission V overseeing infrastructure.
'The antigraft body's investigators confiscated evidence comprising related documents and several electronic devices,' KPK spokeswoman Yuyuk Andriyati said at the KPK headquarters in Jakarta on Friday after the raids.
The KPK named Damayanti a suspect on Thursday for accepting bribes from a group of businessmen, saying it caught her red-handed enacting the transaction the previous evening, making her the second PDI-P lawmaker to be implicated in graft since the beginning of the current sitting period in 2014.
In April, the KPK arrested PDI-P lawmaker Andriyansah, a member of House Commission VII overseeing energy, in Bali, where he was attending the party's congress.
The search of Budi and Yudi's offices, Yuyuk said, was the result of a preliminary investigation into Damayanti, which indicated the involvements of the two politicians.
'As such, the KPK decided to search [Budi and Yudi's] offices to ascertain their connection to the case,' she said.
Also on Friday, KPK investigators searched the PT Windhu Tunggal Utama's (WTU) office in Blok M, South Jakarta, and the Bina Marga directorate general in nearby Kebayoran Baru.
At the two locations, KPK investigators confiscated related documents as evidence.
During Wednesday's arrest, the KPK also apprehended two of Damayanti's associates, businesswomen Julia Prasetyarini and Dessy A. Edwin, who had met with WTU CEO Abdul Khoir on Tuesday at Damayanti's request.
During the meeting, Abdul allegedly handed over S$33,000 intended for Damayanti, Julia and Dessy as a 'commitment fee' to secure a construction project in Maluku earmarked for the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry for the 2016 fiscal year. The money was reportedly part of a total $404,000 promised by Abdul.
Yuyuk said the search had proceeded without incident and that KPK investigators had followed all procedures.
'There was no reason to hamper the operation,' she said.
Yuyuk was apparently referring to an incident involving House Deputy Chairman Fahri Hamzah, a member of the PKS, who tried to stop KPK investigators entering his colleague Yudi's office at the DPR complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
Fahri denied the KPK investigators entry, decrying the commission for bringing in armed members of the police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) to aid with the search.
'Why is everyone at the House being treated like a thieves?' Fahri asked investigator HN Christian, taking issue with the officers, who were armed with long-barreled assault weapons.
Responding to Fahri's protest, Christian insisted that his team had taken the proper steps in conducting the raid. 'I have received permission from the House [secretary]. This is part of my duty to the state,' he said.
Fahri eventually relented and left the KPK officials to continue with their search.
Earlier on Thursday, the KPK investigators began their search at the House complex by sealing off Damayanti's office space on the sixth floor.
The investigators came back on Friday morning accompanied by four armed Brimob officers and members of the House PDI-P faction in order to conduct the search.
The investigators proceeded to access the 13th floor of the office building ' the headquarters of Golkar's House faction ' and searched Budi's office. The Golkar faction declined to comment on the matter.
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