Golkar denies taking money from Riau power plant bribes
The Jakarta Post
The Golkar Party has denied allegations that the party had received money connected with a graft case in a coal-powered power plant (PLTU) project in Riau.
Fadli Nasution, the lawyer of Eni Maulani Saragih, a Golkar lawmaker who has been named a suspect in a bribery case in the Riau-1 power plant project, has claimed that his client used some of the kickback money she had accepted from businessman Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo to fund the party’s extraordinary national congress (munaslub) in December.
Party chairman Airlangga Hartarto, who was elected during the congress, denied the accusation on Monday.
“The congress’ organizing committee chairman Agus Gumiwang [Kartasasmita] said it was not true,” Airlangga said.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators arrested Johannes and Eni, who was the deputy chairwoman of the House of Representatives’ Commission VII overseeing energy and mineral resources, during an operation in July. They were eventually named suspects as the lawmaker was suspected of accepting kickbacks amounting to Rp 6.25 billion (US$427,500) from the businessman to secure the Riau-1 project.
Read also: KPK seizes evidence from PLN chief's house
The antigraft body also named former social affairs minister and Golkar politician Idrus Marham a suspect in the case for allegedly pushing the signing of the power purchase agreement between Johannes’ company, Blackgold Natural Resources Limited, and state-owned electricity firm PLN.
“During the congress, Eni became the committee’s treasurer. At that time, she asked [Johannes] for Rp 2 billion, and later used it for operational funds for the congress,” Fadli said.
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