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Jakarta Post

Sports minister implicated in KONI bribery case, court told

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 22, 2019   /   06:09 am
Sports minister implicated in KONI bribery case, court told Yohanis "Joni" Gama Marshall Lau is carried by Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi at the minister's office on Aug. 18, 2018. (Courtesy Sports and Youth Ministry/Handout)

A court hearing revealed on Thursday that Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi had accepted bribes, making him the second Cabinet member implicated in a graft case just a month before the country's presidential and legislative elections.   

A team of prosecutors named Imam on a list of alleged recipients of bribes from the National Sports Committee (KONI) to the ministry during the trial of committee secretary-general Ending Fuad Hamidy at the Jakarta Corruption Court.  

The list included initials of ministry and committee officials who allegedly received kickbacks totaling Rp 3.4 billion (US$240,831) to pass a state grant to the committee, as reported by Antara.

According to the list, one of the recipients was identified only as M, who was said to receive Rp 1.5 billion -- the largest compared to other listed recipients.

KONI planning and budgeting secretary Suradi, who was a witness during the Thursday hearing, testified that he made the list under Ending’s order.

“I assume the M initial, who would receive Rp 1.5 billion, refers to the minister because he would receive the largest kickback,” Suradi testified in court on Thursday as quoted by Antara. “I didn’t really know at that time because [Ending] only dictated the initials to me.”

He, however, said he did not know whether the money had been disbursed to the minister.

KPK investigators had summoned Imam in January to the commission’s headquarters in Jakarta for questioning as a witness in the case. During questioning, graft-busters questioned the minister about his role in giving approval on the grant proposal.

The list also included the initials Ul from the ministry, who would receive Rp 500 million. “I assume that Ul is Ulum, the youth and sports minister's personal staffer," Suradi added.

In the KPK’s indictment against Ending, prosecutors implicated Ulum as the one who arranged the disbursement of a “commitment fee” from KONI to the ministry, which amounted to between 15 and 19 percent of the Rp 17.9 billion grant.

KPK prosecutors indicted Ending of giving kickbacks to the ministry’s undersecretary overseeing sports achievement, Mulyana, and his two subordinates related to a grant from the ministry to KONI. The antigraft body named him a suspect in the case on Dec. 19 after they were nabbed during an operation in Jakarta a day earlier.

Earlier this week, the antigraft body seized bank notes amounting to more than US$40,000 in the office of Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin as part of an investigation into alleged bribery involving United Development Party (PPP) chairman Muhammad Romahurmuziy. Lukman is also a member of the party, which is among President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's supporting parties.  

Romahurmuziy is accused of accepting bribes to recommend promotion of officials at the Religious Affairs Ministry.

The prosecution of Romahurmuziy, who is known as an ally of Jokowi, has shocked many as it occurred a few weeks before the elections that will be held concurrently on April 17.

Imam is a member of the National Awakening Party (PKB), another supporting party of Jokowi. (kuk)