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Jakarta Post

KPK questions Ahok's deputy candidate in reclamation case


    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 7, 2016   /  03:39 pm
KPK questions Ahok's deputy candidate in reclamation case Heavy machinery carries out reclamation work on Tuesday in a coastal area in North Jakarta. The Jakarta administration has insisted that a reclamation project of 17 man-made islets is legal according to existing regulations, amid a bribery case being handled by the Corruption Eradication Commission on the deliberation of draft bylaws on reclamation. (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

Investigators from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Thursday questioned Jakarta Financial and Asset Management Agency head Heru Budi Hartono as a witness in relation to a corruption case surrounding the deliberation of two bylaws on reclamation.

Heru has been named by Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama as his deputy candidate in the lead-up to the 2017 gubernatorial election, in which the governor will run as an independent.

“[Heru] will be questioned as a witness regarding alleged gifts and promises relating to the deliberation of draft bylaws,” KPK spokesman Priharsa Nugraha said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Last week, KPK investigators arrested Mohamad Sanusi, chairman of the Jakarta City Council’s Commission D overseeing development affairs, for allegedly accepting a bribe from an official of PT Agung Podomoro Land (APL).

The KPK has named three suspects in the case, including APL president director Ariesman Widjaja and another company official.

The bribes allegedly related to the ongoing deliberation of two draft bylaws on zoning for coastal areas and small islands and the revision of a bylaw on reclamation implementation and Jakarta’s Northern Coastal Spatial Plan.

The crucial article mentions a requirement for developers to put aside a certain percentage of reclaimed land for the city administration.

Ahok said a draft bylaw submitted by the city administration stipulated that the requirement was 15 percent of the reclaimed land. Reportedly, developers had lobbied the council to reduce the requirement to 5 percent.

Priharsa said that Heru, a former mayor of North Jakarta, would be questioned as a witness for Ariesman. The KPK will also question other officials from the city administration and private companies.

Ahok suggested that the questioning of Heru could be part of the KPK's inquiries to confirm whether officials from the Jakarta administration were involved in the corruption case. The governor also expressed his readiness to testify if the KPK needed information from him.

Ahok said he had given clear instructions to his subordinates in connection with the draft bylaws, and therefore the relevant officials had adequate information to provide to the KPK. But if the KPK still wanted to seek information from him directly, Ahok said, he would be summoned.   

“If the KPK wants to crosscheck the answers [of my subordinates], they will summon me,” he added. (bbn)

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