President Jokowi declines to comment on House Speakers suspect status

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) chose to not comment on the naming of House Speaker Setya Novanto as a suspect in a corruption case related to the electronic identity card (e-ID) procurement project.

“It is better that I do not comment first on Pak (Mr) Novanto case, so that it would not leave the impression that I am intervening in the case,” President Jokowi said at the Jakarta Convention Center on Wednesday.

On the occasion, Jokowi attended the opening ceremony of the National Working Meeting X of the Indonesian Association of Local Governments (APKASI) and the APKASI Autonomy Expo 2017 at the Jakarta Convention Center.

President Jokowi is keen to stand by his initial commitment of not interfering with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in conducting its duties.

“I want to explain, as we believe the KPK is working in accordance with its authority,” he noted.

Presidents Special Staff for Communications Johan Budi S.P. had earlier echoed the same view.

Budi noted at the Jakarta Presidential Palace complex on Tuesday that all parties, including the president, must respect the legal process.

“We all, including the president, should respect the legal process with regard to what the KPK is doing,” Johan affirmed.

The KPK has named Novanto, who is also the general chairman of the Golkar Party, as a suspect in the e-ID procurement project.

“The KPK has found sufficient preliminary evidence to name another suspect. The KPK has named SN (Novanto), who is a DPR member for the 2009-2014 term, as a suspect for allegedly benefiting himself, another person, or corporation by abusing power, facilities, or post, thus causing the state to suffer Rp2.3 trillion in losses from the procurement of (e-ID cards) worth Rp5.9 trillion,” KPK Chairman Agus Rahardjo had stated at the KPK building in Jakarta on Monday (July 17).

Novanto is charged with violating article 2, paragraph (1) of Law No.31 of 1999 as amended by Law No. 20 of 2001 on corruption eradication adj. article 55, paragraph (1) of the Penal Code.

Rahardjo noted that Novanto was the chief of the Golkar Party faction in the DPR during the budgeting and procurement of e-ID cards. He played a role in the graft case through a businessman, identified by his initials as AA alias AN.

“SN, through AA, is believed to have played a role in the process of planning and discussing the budget at the DPR and the process of procuring e-ID cards. SN, through AA, is also believed to have manipulated participants and winners of the tender for the procurement of e-ID cards,” he revealed.

Before naming Novanto as a suspect in the case, the KPK had questioned him twice as a witness on Dec 13, 2016, and Jan 10, 2017, in the case against the former director general of demography and vital statistics of the Home Affairs Ministry and former director of the ministrys demographic information management.

The Golkar Party chairman allegedly caused losses worth Rp2.3 trillion to the state from the value of the procurement package of KTP-e during the 2011-2012 period at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Source: Antara News