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Jakarta Post

KPK to focus on Century, sidelines BLBI

  • Haeril Halim

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, February 27, 2015   /  05:36 am

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) leadership has said that for the remainder of its 10-month tenure, it will sideline the probe into the Bank Indonesia liquidity support (BLBI) case, which could have implicated former president Megawati Soerkarnoputri and will instead focus on finishing the investigation into the Bank Century and Bank Central Asia (BCA) cases.

KPK deputy chairman Zulkarnain said the new leadership, under the interim chairmanship of Taufiequrachman Ruki, would focus on completing investigations that were already half-way complete including the Bank Century and the BCA cases, while cases only at a preliminary stage like the BLBI, would be put on the back-burner.

Former BI high-ranking Bank Indonesia (BI) officials, including former vice president Boediono, have been implicated in the Bank Century case, with former BI deputy governor Budi Mulya being convicted.

The BCA tax case has so far seen former Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) chairman Hadi Poernomo being named a suspect.

'€œWe'€™ll focus more on the cases that have reached primary-investigation stage, especially those that we have been conducting for more than six months. [The BLBI case] is still at the preliminary-investigation stage,'€ Zulkarnain said on Thursday.

The new statement was in stark contrast to that made by suspended KPK chairman Abraham Samad on December, 29, 2014, two months prior to being a named suspect by the police in a document-forgery case, which led to his suspension by President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo.

Abraham said the BLBI case was one of the anti-graft body'€™s top-priority targets before his tenure expired in December this year.

'€œWe are stepping up the investigation into the BLBI scandal. It is one of the priority cases for 2015. As you see, we recently sent summonses to many people in the case and this means that we are stepping up our investigation into the case,'€ he said.

Many have speculated that efforts to oust Abraham were connected to his initiative to step up the probe into the BLBI scandal, which centers on Megawati'€™s decision as president in 2002 to issue '€œrelease and discharge'€ letters, freeing recipients of the funds from obligations to fully repay their debts.

The Bank Century case centers on the controversial Rp 6.7 trillion (US$520 million) bailout of Bank Century by BI, at that time led by Boediono, who, along with former BI senior deputy governor Miranda Goeltom, and then BI deputy governors Siti C. Fadjrijah, Budi Rochadi, Muliaman Hadad, Hartadi Sarwono and Ardhayadi Mitroatmodjo, have been collectively accused of abusing their authority in disbursing the funds to the bank.

Budi is currently appealing his verdict, which saw him sentenced to 12 years behind bars, at the Supreme Court, and the KPK under Abraham'€™s leadership had pledged that it would soon charge other individuals implicated in Budi'€™s case.

The BCA case revolves around the decision by Hadi, as director general of taxation at the Finance Ministry from 2002 to 2004, to approve a request by BCA, now the nation'€™s third-biggest lender, for special tax privileges.

Following the appointment of Ruki and senior lawyer Indriyanto Seno Adji as replacements for Abraham and suspended KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto, who has also been named a suspect by the police in a perjury case, many question the KPK'€™s independence.

Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) director of advocacy Bahrain questioned Jokowi'€™s decision to appoint Ruki, a former police general, and Indriyanto as interim commissioners, given their possible conflicts of interest.

Bahrain said Indriyanto could be a problematic figure as he was a lawyer in the Bank Century and the BLBI cases.

'€œThe question is who whispered to the President and recommended them as acting KPK leaders. Another concern is who the acting commissioners are working for,'€ he said.

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