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Ex-Indonesian Democratic Party chief hits Yudhoyono anew

Publication Date : 24-03-2014

 

Former Indonesian Democratic Party chairman and graft and money laundering suspect Anas Urbaningrum seems to have a lot of bullets to shoot at his former boss and current party chairman President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

After a round of questioning at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Friday night, Anas said an audit report of Yudhoyono’s 2009 reelection campaign finances he submitted to investigators listed bogus donors — both individuals and corporations — whose names were used to cover up illicit funds allegedly funneled from the Bank Century bailout.

“It’s the KPK’s job to investigate the audit report to find out the source of donations registered under the bogus names of individuals and corporations,” he said, adding that the total amount of campaign donations received by the Democratic Party in 2009 was 232 billion rupiah (US$20.3 million).

Anas was named a suspect in the case of the graft-ridden Hambalang sports complex project in West Java for allegedly accepting a Toyota Harrier and 2.2 billion rupiah
from the construction firm that won the tender.

The antigraft body said it would investigate whether the money from the 2008 bailout of Bank Century was funneled to fund Yudhoyono’s 2009 reelection bid using the information recently provided by Anas.

KPK chairman Abraham Samad said the body would study the audit report Anas had submitted.

“We will validate all information [revealed by Anas] and we will look into every detail of it,” Abraham said on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com.

In another volley against Yudhoyono, who ousted Anas from the party chair after he was named a suspect by the KPK, Anas’ lawyer Firman Wijaya said the Toyota Harrier was partly bought using money Yudhoyono gave him as a “thank you gift” from the party for Anas’ hard work in the 2009 legislative and presidential elections.

“The money to pay the down payment on the car was from Pak SBY,” Firman said referring to Yudhoyono’s initials.

Earlier, Anas said that Yudhoyono had once instructed him to “safeguard” the Bank Century bailout discussions at the House of Representatives, while he was chairman of the party’s faction in the House.

The order to “safeguard” was interpreted by Anas as a damage control command to prevent other members of the ruling party from being implicated in the case.

Responding to Anas’ allegations, Democratic spokesman Ruhut Sitompul lashed out at his former party colleague, saying that Anas was just looking for “friends to keep him company at the KPK detention center”.

 “Who was Anas in 2009? He was elected chairman in 2010. So, he was never involved at all in the audit. He is now possessed by an evil spirit,” Ruhut said on Sunday.

Ruhut went on to say that the audit was reported in 2009 right after the presidential election and “it did not contain any irregularities at all.”

He added that Yudhoyono never instructed Anas to “safeguard” Century discussions at the House.

“If Pak SBY had intervened in the case at the House, I would be the right person he would have instructed because I am a member of House Commission III overseeing legal affairs,” Ruhut said.

Party board of patron member Hayono Isman said that Yudhoyono had nothing to hide.

“Actually, Pak SBY has clarified such allegations in the past and I think he would be happy to give his testimony if the KPK needs him to at anytime, whether when he is still the president or after his tenure ends [this October]. He always supports the work of the KPK to eradicate the country’s rampant corruption,” Hayono said.

Meanwhile, the first trial connected to the Bank Century bailout began on March 16 with the indictment of former Bank Indonesia (BI) deputy governor Budi Mulya for malfeasance and individual and corporate enrichment. No evidence has emerged in the trial of a link between Yudhoyono’s reelection campaign and the bailout.

  

 

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