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Jakarta Post

Idrus allegedly used bribes in failed Golkar leadership bid

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 15, 2019   /   07:44 pm
Idrus allegedly used bribes in failed Golkar leadership bid Then-social affairs minister Idrus Marham (center) arrives at the Corruption Eradication Commission office in Jakarta on July 26, 2018. (Antara/Aprilio Akbar)

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) indicted on Tuesday former social affairs minister Idrus Marham, accusing the Golkar Party politician of accepting bribes from a businessman to finance his failed bid to replace Setya Novanto as party leader.

Setya was ousted from his position after being charged with graft.

In the indictment read during the first hearing at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Tuesday, a copy of which was made available to The Jakarta Post, prosecutors accused Idrus and fellow Golkar politician Eni Maulani Saragih of accepting Rp 2.25 billion (US$159,506) in installments from Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo, one of the shareholders at energy firm BlackGold Natural Resources Limited.

In return, the two politicians would help a consortium led by Blackgold and China Huadian Engineering Company Limited to win the Riau-1 coal-fired power plant construction project, valued at around US$900 million.

The indictment also revealed that the illicit deal for the project was made in 2015, when Johannes allegedly agreed to a deal with the Chinese company on a project fee for several individuals, including then-Golkar chairman Setya Novanto, amounting of $6 million.

Setya later played a role in the project by connecting Johannes with Eni, a lawmaker of the House of Representatives Commission VII overseeing energy and mineral resources, the indictment said. Setya was believed to have ordered Eni to smoothen the businessman’s way for the Riau project.

When the KPK arrested Setya in November 2017 for his alleged role in the e-ID corruption case, Eni reported all progress related to the power plant construction project to Idrus, who was appointed as the then-acting Golkar chairman.

“Eni reported on the project to the defendant so she would be noticed by Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo because of the defendant’s role as the party’s acting chairman,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment.

According to the indictment, after taking up the role as party chairman, Idrus told Eni to ask for money from the businessman amounting to $2.5 million, which would be used for the party’s extraordinary national congress (munaslub) in December 2017. At that time, Idrus allegedly served as the guarantor for the munaslub, while Eni served as the treasurer.

Prosecutors accused Idrus of making the request because of his wish to replace Setya as Golkar chairman during the munaslub. Johannes accepted the request and gave Idrus Rp 2 billion through Eni’s expert staff Tahta Maharaya.

“Eni gave around Rp 713 million [of the money accepted from Johannes] to munaslub steering committee deputy secretary Muhammad Sarmuji, according to the defendant’s wish as a person in charge of the congress,” the prosecutor wrote in the indictment.

The money had been returned by a Golkar politician to the KPK in September last year. At that time, Eni confirmed it came from the munaslub committee and said it was evidence that some of the illicit money was used for the congress.

Golkar chairman Airlangga Hartanto, who was elected during the munaslub, had denied the allegation.

Eni’s trial is ongoing at the Jakarta Corruption Court. Johannes was found guilty by judges in the case and sentenced to prison for two years and eight months for his crime.

Idrus was also accused of helping Eni ask for illicit money from Johannes to be used for her husband’s campaign during the 2018 regional election in Temanggung, East Java. After refusing because of the difficult financial situation, the businessman eventually handed over Rp 250 million to the lawmaker.