The Jakarta Post
The Home Ministry has dismissed Central Tapanuli Regent Bonaran Situmeang and Toba Samosir Regent Pandapotan Kasmin Simanjuntak, as both are being tried for involvement in bribery and corruption cases.
The two men have been replaced by their respective deputy regents. North Sumatra Governor Gatot Pujo Nugroho handed over the ministry's decrees on the replacement at his office on Thursday.
'Syukron Tanjung is appointed as acting Central Tapanuli regent replacing Bonaran Situmeang, while Liberty Pasaribu is appointed as acting Toba Samosir regent replacing Pandapotan Kasmin Simanjuntak,' Gatot said.
He added that the decrees had been issued by the Home Ministry based on a report he had filed regarding Situmeang and Simanjuntak's legal status as suspects.
'We have asked the court. They confirmed that both had been named suspects,' Gatot said.
Situmeang, Gatot said, was being tried for an alleged bribery case against former Constitutional Court judge Akil Mochtar.
Situmeang allegedly gave Rp 1.8 billion (US$139,654) in bribes to Akil to sway the verdict in an election dispute in the regency in 2011.
Simanjuntak, meanwhile, the governor went on, was being tried by the Medan Corruption Court for involvement in corruption related to the acquisition of land for an access road for a power plant project.
He allegedly played a major role in a graft-ridden land purchase deal worth Rp 4.4 billion for the development of the project's access road and base camp in North Meranti subdistrict, Pintu Pohan district.
With regard to the alleged legal status of Liberty Pasaribu as a suspect in a case related to the payment of compensation for the Yaspena Training Center land and building worth Rp 1.2 billion, Gatot said that Pasaribu had insisted he was only a witness in the case.
'He showed me a copy of the examination document that stated he had been examined as a witness,' Gatot said.
Following this confirmation, Gatot said, he had asked Pasaribu not to let the case affect his performance as Toba Samosir acting regent.
'I hope the gears of the Toba Samosir administration will run as normal under his leadership,' he said.
After receiving the decree on his appointment as Toba Samosir regent, Liberty Pasaribu was reportedly arrested by the police while having lunch at a restaurant in Medan. The North Sumatra Police, however, denied the reports.
North Sumatra Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Helfi Assegaf said he had checked the rumor with the North Sumatra Police's special crime investigation directorate.
'There was no arrest made of Toba Samosir acting regent Liberty Pasaribu. It's just a rumor,' Assegaf told reporters on Thursday.
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