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Jakarta Post

After extensive questioning, KPK detains Riau governor

  • Hans Nicholas Jong

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, June 15, 2013   /  08:11 am
After extensive questioning, KPK detains Riau governor Going down: Riau Governor Rusli Zainal, wearing a KPK detainee’s jacket, leaves the commission’s headquarters on Friday after being questioned for seven hours about his alleged role in two separate corruption cases. (Antara/Wahyu Putro) (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

Going down: Riau Governor Rusli Zainal, wearing a KPK detainee'€™s jacket, leaves the commission'€™s headquarters on Friday after being questioned for seven hours about his alleged role in two separate corruption cases. (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) finally detained Riau Governor Rusli Zainal on Friday after questioning him for the third time on his alleged involvement in two separate graft cases.

After being questioned for more than seven hours, Rusli, who is also a member of the Golkar Party'€™s central executive board, exited KPK headquarters in Kuningan, South Jakarta, wearing a KPK detainee'€™s jacket.

'€œThis is a process that I have to go through,'€ he told reporters before being led to a detainee vehicle that took him to the KPK'€™s detention center. '€œPlease pray for me so that everything goes well and may end soon.'€

An hour after he was detained, his relatives including his wife, Septina Primawati Rusli, who is currently contesting a seat on the Riau Legislative Council, visited him at the detention center. Septina is also a member of Golkar.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the antigraft body would detain Rusli for the next 20 days, adding that the detention was for his roles in both the graft cases.

First is the Pelalawan forestry permit case, in which he is suspected of abusing his authority in approving annual work plans of a number of private companies operating in Pelalawan regency, Riau. Two former regents, then Pelalawan regent Tengku Azmun Jafar and then Siak regent Arwin AS, are currently serving time in connection with this case.

Rusli has also been named a suspect in the Riau National Games (PON) graft case, in which he stands accused of bribing a group of local legislators via Riau Youth and Sports Agency head Lukman Abbas, in an attempt to expedite the revision of a bylaw to increase the budget allocation for the construction of the 2012 PON'€™s venues in Riau.

He has also been charged with accepting a bribe from a private company that benefited from the bylaw.

Seven local legislators have been arrested in connection with the case. KPK investigators also confiscated Rp 900 million (US$94,000) as evidence of the bribe.

Johan said that the KPK would combine the two cases in one indictment and that it would press further in its investigation into the cases.

'€œThe investigation will continue and we can develop it from facts revealed before the court,'€ he said. '€œNow, we'€™re focusing on completing Rusli'€™s files so that we can proceed with his trial.'€

Johan also confirmed that the KPK would validate information revealed by Lukman, who testified in court, that he gave a $1 million bribe to Golkar lawmakers to approve the Riau administration'€™s request to the central government to allocate an additional Rp 250 billion for the PON project.

Lukman, who was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison for his role in the case, claimed that Golkar legislators Kahar Muzakir and Setya Novanto were also involved in the case.

Kahar, a member of the House of Representatives'€™ Commission X on sports, reportedly took the bribe money and passed it on to Setya, Golkar'€™s treasurer and the leader of the party'€™s faction in the House, who has been accused of initially requesting the bribe.

In April, the KPK raided both Kahar and Setya'€™s offices as part of its investigation into Rusli, the only senior Golkar politician to have been charged in the case.

Following the raids, Johan said that investigators had found strong evidence implicating Setya and Kahar in the PON graft case.

He added that KPK investigators had analyzed documents seized during the raids.

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