AGO questions ex-minister in BCA Tower case
The Jakarta Post
Having questioned former State-Owned Enterprises Minister Laksamana Sukardi on Tuesday, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) have announced that they plan to call more witnesses in the contract case between Djarum group and state-owned hotel operator Hotel Indonesia Natour (HIN).
While the AGO summoned both Laksamana, former HIN commissioner Wijayanto Samirin and Grand Indonesia president director Fransiskus Yohanes Hardianto Lazaro, only Laksamana answered the call.
Cipta Karya Bangun Indah (CKBI) president director Johannes Arief Hartono, who passed away in 2011, was also named on the summons list. CKBI is an affiliated company of Djarum group, the Indonesian cigarette giant that holds 47 percent shares in Bank Central Asia (BCA).
"We confirmed that the office building [BCA Tower] and apartment [Kempinski] are not included in the Build, Operate, and Transfer agreement. In two or three days we will decide who to call next," said AGO attorney for special crimes Arminsyah.
The AGO, he continued, would examine the case further before summoning other witnesses.
The contract case may represent state losses of Rp1.29 trillion (US$96 million), according to the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK).
Laksamana, who arrived at the AGO on Tuesday afternoon, told journalists that there was indication of an infringement against good corporate governance (GCG) in the 2004 contract, later revised in 2010.
"After the building was constructed, there were no reports. The 2010 contract extension too. I was no longer the minister but some colleagues in the ministry complained to me that there had been no report," said Laksamana who had been the SOE Minister during the period of the initial contract signing, before stepping down in February 2004.
Through Term of Reference (ToR) in the BOT agreement, the SOE Ministry had regulated the code of conduct over governance and reporting, he continued, but this had been ignored by the signing parties.
He underlined that there had not been an office building and apartment mentioned in the contract. He rejected the House of Representative's argument that the 'etc' word in the contract was a legal basis for CKBI to construct additional buildings on HIN land.
"The interpretation of the 'etc' word should not be significant buildings. It may be complementary facilities or sanitary services, but not two large buildings," Laksamana said before leaving AGO office on Tuesday evening.
Completed in 2007, construction of the 230-meter BCA Tower began in 2004 with initial investment of Rp 700 billion. The 56 level office tower was built under green building principals, allowing it to claim electricity bill savings of up to Rp 5 billion per year.
Located in Jakarta's strategic area, the building saw an 85 percent occupancy rate in 2010 a figure which increased to 95 percent by 2012 despite the US$20 per square meter (sqm) rental cost per month and additional $7 per sqm monthly maintenance fee. (ags)(+)
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