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Indonesian lawmakers took bribes in sports graft case: witnesses
Publication Date : 09-11-2012
Several Indonesian lawmakers were said to have received bribe money in exchange for projects run by the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Education and Culture Ministry.
The information was revealed by witnesses during the trial of Democratic Party politician Angelina Sondakh on the same graft case.
"Nazaruddin told some of the Democratic Party lawmakers during a meeting in 2010 that Sondakh, Mirwan Amir and Mahyuddin had received funds," Democratic Party lawmaker Edi Ramli Sitanggang said referring to Nazaruddin who was then the party's treasurer.
Sitanggang made the statement as he testified as a witness in the trial of Sondakh in Jakarta yesterday.
Sondakh, a former beauty queen, is facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.
Prosecutors accused Sondakh of receiving a total of 34.90 billion rupiah (US$3 million) in kickbacks, comprising 12.58 billion rupiah and $2.35 million, from Permai Group, a holding company belonging to Nazaruddin.
The company reportedly paid the bribe in exchange for the construction of the SEA Games' athlete village under the supervision of the Youth and Sports Ministry and the procurement of laboratory equipment at 16 universities supervised by the Education and Culture Ministry.
According to Sitanggang, Nazaruddin claimed that Sondakh, Amir and Mahyuddin had allegedly received around 7 billion rupiah for the athlete village construction.
Sitanggang said that Sondakh, Amir and Mahyuddin did not deny Nazaruddin's allegations during the 2010 meeting.
Another witness at yesterday's trial session, Bayu Wijokongko, the director of PT Pacific Putra Metropolitan, a company which belongs to Permai Group, said he had also received orders from his boss, Mindo Rosalina "Rosa" Manullang, to bribe Golkar Party lawmaker Muhammad Oheo Sinapoy with $75,000.
"However, Bu Rosa did not tell me why I should give the money to Sinapoy. I was ordered to contact him through Blackberry messenger or via phone calls before giving him the money," Wijokongko said.
Rosa has been convicted and has completed her two-and-a-half year jail term for her role in the SEA Games' athlete village scandal.
Meanwhile, Gerhana Sianipar, president director of PT Exartech Technology Utama, which also belongs to the Permai Group, also testified that Sondakh had repeatedly met with her boss, Rosa.
"They met several times at the Sultan Hotel and FX shopping centre," Sianipar said.
She also said that Rosa had ordered her to prepare billions of rupiah to be given to Sondakh as a "support" fund.
Sianipar said that it was a tradition for her company to give money to lawmakers in an attempt to win tenders for some projects.
Responding to the testimonies, Sondakh said that she could only partially confirm information given by the witnesses.
"I thank those testimonies that have forced me to live in jail," Sondakh said in a squeaky voice.
The next trial, slated for November 22, will still hear testimonies from witnesses that will be presented by the prosecutors.
Since the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) started investigating the case in 2010, numerous lawmakers had been named. Besides the aforementioned lawmakers, I Wayan Koster, lawmaker from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and Azis Syamsuddin and Zulkarnaen Djabar from the Golkar Party, had also been mentioned in testimonies during trials.
US$1 = 9,632 Indonesian rupiah