The Jakarta Post
Contradicting claims made by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly has said there was no indication that Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra, a longtime fugitive in the high-profile Bank Bali corruption case, has returned to the country.
Attorney General ST Burhanuddin announced on Monday that Djoko had been in the country for the past three months, after escaping to Papua New Guinea in 2009, and had also filed a case review against his conviction on June 8.
However, Yasonna refuted the claim, saying a thorough examination of immigration data showed no record of him returning to the country.
"As of now, there is no [record of his return] in our system. The ministry doesn’t know where Djoko Tjandra is," Yasonna said as quoted in a statement on Tuesday.
Immigration Office spokesperson Arvin Gumilang said the office had received two requests for a travel ban on Djoko, from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in April 2008 and from the AGO in March 2012.
Interpol issued a red notice against Djoko in July 2009, requesting law enforcers worldwide to locate and arrest him.
Six years later, the National Central Bureau (NCB) Interpol Indonesia put Djoko, who had reportedly changed his name to Joe Chan upon applying for citizenship in Papua New Guinea (PNG), on its most-wanted list in February 2015.
“We responded by sending a circular regarding the most wanted list to immigration offices across the country,” Arvin wrote in a statement.
Interpol notified the Immigration Office on May 5 that the red notice against Djoko was revoked in 2014 as the AGO had not extended its request against the fugitive. The Immigration responded by removing Djoko from its border crossing detection system on May 13.
The AGO only requested the immigration to put Djoko on its most-wanted list on June 27.
It previously received information that the fugitive had been spotted in Malaysia and Singapore.
Djoko was found guilty of being involved in the so-called Bank Bali scandal, win which hundreds of billions of rupiah was embezzled from state bailout funds for the 1998 Asian financial crisis.
He was acquitted in 2000 but sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and ordered to pay Rp 546 billion (US$54 million) in restitution by the Supreme Court in 2009 after the AGO requested a review.
However, Djoko had fled Indonesia on a chartered flight from Jakarta to Port Moresby on June 10, 2009, a day before the Supreme Court issued its verdict. Indonesia does not have an extradition treaty with the PNG, which later confirmed that Djoko had obtained PNG citizenship.
Djoko failed to show up for his case review hearing at the Jakarta District Court on Monday, with court officials claiming he was sick.