The Jakarta Post
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested South Sumatra’s Muara Enim Legislative Council speaker, Aries HB, naming him a suspect in a bribery case pertaining to public works and housing agency projects in the 2019 fiscal year.
Graft busters arrested Aries, an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician, on Sunday at his in-law’s house in the provincial capital of Palembang.
KPK investigators also arrested Muara Enim Public Works and Housing Agency acting head Ramlan Suryadiar in the city on the same day. He was also named a suspect in the case.
“The two suspects were questioned at the South Sumatra Police headquarters. They were later taken to KPK headquarters [in Jakarta] on Monday,” KPK deputy chairman Alexander Marwata said during a press briefing on Monday.
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The antigraft body suspected Aries of accepting Rp 3.03 billion (US$195,473) in bribes between May and August last year from businessman Robi Okta Fahlevi as a commitment fee for 16 road construction projects in the regency worth Rp 130 billion.
Meanwhile, Ramlan allegedly accepted Rp 1.1 billion in bribes and one smartphone from the businessman.
The case came to light with the arrest of Robi, Muara Enim Regent Ahmad Yani as well as a public works agency official Elvyn Muhtar in September last year for their alleged involvement in the case. Ahmad allegedly accepted Rp 13.4 billion from Robi. His trial is still ongoing.
Ahmad’s lawyer, Maqdir Ismail, claimed during a hearing that Elvyn had tried to bribe KPK chairman Firli Bahuri with US$35,000 during the latter’s term as South Sumatra Police chief.