The Jakarta Post
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said has stressed that he is ready to supply more information to the House of Representatives' ethics council in connection with a report he made to the council about House Speaker Setya Novanto's alleged misuse of President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla's names in talks with representatives of mining company Freeport Indonesia.
'I have fulfilled my duty and obligation to report to the council. If the council needs more information, I am ready,' Sudirman said in Jakarta on Friday.
He said that as a minister in the energy sector, his responsibility was to purge the sector of mafia practices. 'So when I find [mafia practices] and there is sufficient evidence, I will report it. In the case of Freeport, since the [alleged] perpetrator is a member of the House, I reported him to the House's ethics council,' he added.
As previously reported, Sudirman named Setya in his statement to the ethics council for allegedly claiming he had won the approval of President Jokowi and Vice President Kalla to secure shares and projects from PT Freeport Indonesia in exchange for helping the company extend its contract to continue operating its gold mine in Papua.
Sudirman's report included a transcript of a recorded conversation believed to be between Setya, politically connected oil and fuel import kingpin Muhammad Reza Chalid and Freeport Indonesia president director Maroef Sjamsoeddin.
The council is scheduled to kick off an open-door trial to hear testimony from relevant parties in the case. Earlier, the council's deputy chairman Junimart Girsang said that Sudirman would be invited to give testimony during a hearing next week.
Freeport Indonesia has been seeking the government's approval to extend its contract, which is set to expire in 2021. The extension request would guarantee its planned US$18 billion investment in underground mining and a copper smelter.
The request is against the government's regulation on mineral resources and coal operations, which stipulates any extension application can only be submitted two years prior to the expiry of a contract. If the company complied with the regulation, it would only be able to apply for the extension in 2019, when Indonesia will hold both legislative and presidential elections, and issues related to Freeport could be politically sensitive. (bbn)
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