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Jakarta Post

Boediono'€™s Century explanation contradictory, say lawmakers

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, November 25, 2013   /  10:29 am

Golkar Party lawmaker Bambang Soesatyo said former Bank Indonesia (BI) governor and current Vice President Boediono did not tell the truth in questioning over the Rp 6.7 trillion (US$572.89 million) Bank Century bailout case.

Bambang, a member of the House of Representatives'€™ monitoring team on the Bank Century case, said Boediono'€™s statement contradicted information that had been made public about the case.

He added if the decision-making process in the disbursement of the bailout was considered proper as Boediono claimed in his statement, then he should not have presented fabricated data or other forms of '€œdeceit'€. '€œEven then, [former] finance minister Sri Mulyani as head of the [now-defunct] Financial System Stability Committee [KSSK] got very angry because data presented to her was inaccurate,'€ Bambang said.

He said Sri Mulyani had suspected that something was wrong in the disbursement of the fund.

'€œShe [Mulyani] questioned how could the Rp 632 billion in bailout funds she had approved increase to Rp 2.5 trillion within just two days, and then again go up further to Rp 6.7 trillion within just a month?'€ he said.

Bambang made the comments in response to a statement made by Boediono after he was questioned as a witness in the case of former BI deputy governor Budi Mulya by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) over the weekend.

The Golkar politician also doubted the validity of Boediono'€™s claim that then vice president Jusuf Kalla, who was an interim head of government when the bailout was disbursed, was not briefed about the policy.

'€œHow did he [Boediono] explain Sri Mulyani'€™s statements to Kalla that she was duped by BI? And how about Robert Tantular'€™s [former Bank Century owner] explanation that he had never asked for either a short-term assistance [FPJP] facility or a bailout because negotiations with a third party were underway? Bank Century only needed Rp 1 trillion,'€ said Bambang.

He said these were among questions that could weaken Boediono'€™s arguments on the possible systemic risks that Century posed.

'€œCentury was only a small bank and its interbank loans stood at only 0.03 percent,'€ Bambang said.

Separately, Prosperous Justice Party lawmaker Fahri Hamzah, also a member of the monitoring team,  said that Boediono'€™s explanation was '€œriddled with inconsistencies'€.

He said that the bailout was executed without logical and theoretical basis. '€œFor example, then Supreme Audit Body chair Anwar Nasution said he had already shut down three banks larger than Bank Century, and there was no systemic failure,'€ Fahri said over the phone.

Meanwhile, Agus Sunaryanto, the head of Indonesia Corruption Watch'€™s (ICW) investigation division, said the KPK had to be vigorous in cross-checking statements made by relevant officials in the bailout case to find even the smallest hint of inconsistencies. One possible focus, he said, was the meeting on Nov. 20, 2008, between then vice president Jusuf Kalla and then Bank Indonesia governor Boediono, and whether the Bank Century issue was brought up in the meeting. '€œOf course, everybody will claim to have the right data, and so this is where the KPK needs to step in and determine which data is correct,'€ Agus said. Kalla issued a statement on Sunday, saying he was not informed about Bank Century'€™s woes and that it needed only Rp 630 billion in funds.

Kalla claimed Boediono did not report to him on Bank Century'€™s condition in a meeting on Nov. 20, 2008, which eventually decided to label Bank Century a failed bank.

Agus called on the KPK to swiftly wrap up its Century bailout probe as the election year drew closer. '€œThe KPK must stand firm in the face of any political pressure, especially leading up to next year'€™s elections,'€ he said.

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