The Jakarta Post
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors indicted businessman Saeful Bahri, who was also identified as a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), for his alleged involvement in a bribery case implicating General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Wahyu Setiawan.
The antigraft body indicted Saeful despite the lack of testimony from PDI-P politician Harun Masiku, who was also named a suspect in the case and deemed a key witness. Harun has been at large since he was named a suspect by the KPK on Jan. 9.
Kompas.com reported that KPK prosecutor Ronald Worotikan indicted Saeful for allegedly bribing Wahyu and former Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) member Agustiani Tio Fridelina in exchange for the KPU commissioner’s approval for the politician to fill the seat of a deceased politician in the House of Representatives.
Wahyu and Agustiani have also been named suspects in the case.
Read also: PDI-P on defensive over graft scandal
Saeful, who once served under PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto, reportedly gave both suspects a total of S$57,350 – equal to Rp 600 million (US$36,056).
The KPK arrested Wahyu and the two other suspects on Jan. 8 and named them, along with Harun, suspects in the case. Wahyu allegedly accepted Rp 600 million from Harun through Saeful.
The antigraft body marched on with the indictment despite the absence of key witness Harun’s testimony against Saeful. The KPK has not made any significant progress in locating Harun.
KPK deputy chairman Nurul Ghufron previously said investigators had searched for Harun in 13 locations but to no avail. He added that Harun had “taken himself off the grid” by not using telecommunication devices, complicating the search.
Nurul went on to say that the KPK had not found any indication that the PDI-P politician was being hidden but declined to provide further details on the antigraft body’s effort in locating the suspect.
The case had dragged in Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, also a PDI-P politician. Many accused him of covering up Harun’s whereabouts after the ministry’s Immigration Directorate General announced that Harun was still out of country when he was named a suspect.
It was later discovered that Harun had returned to Indonesia two days prior to his suspect naming at the KPK. The revelation triggered the dismissal of Immigration Director General Ronny Sompie and the formation of the ministry’s special fact-finding team, which concluded that there had been an error in the immigration database, resulting in the false information on Harun’s whereabouts. (mfp)