What would be the impact of Setya shock on pansus?

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Finally, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) announced what it earlier said that a new suspect would be named in the big electronic-ID card corruption case.

The new suspect is no other than Setya Novanto, the speaker of the House of Representatives and General Chairman of the countrys second largest party Golkar.

“KPK has named Mr SN as a suspect,” chairman of the anti graft agency Agus Rahardjo told reporters at his office on Monday. Agus identified the new suspect as SN but everybody knows it stands for Setya Novanto.

The announcement came when KPK is in conflict with the DPR over KPK rejection to hand over the result of legal investigation of a lawmaker Miryam S. Hariani, who was said to have received money from a suspect in the corruption case to be distributed among other lawmakers of the House Commission II.

Setya Novanto was a member of the DPR in the period of 2009-2014 when the government had a project that all Indonesians would hold e-ID cards. The Home Affairs Ministry under Gamawam Fauzi was responsible for the implementation of the project worth Rp5.9 trillion.

KPK has said that around Rp2.3 trillion of the fund were embezzled, and the embezzlement was plotted by senior officials of the Home Affairs Ministry, lawmakers and business people.

KPK already questioned around 23 lawmakers and arrested and named a number of suspects in the case.

On July 14, Setya Novanto was grilled by KPK investigators after failing to appear for investigation on July 7 claiming he was ill. On Monday he was investigated again and was named a suspect on charge of involvement in the embezzlement with a share of Rp570 billion. On several occasions he denied having a share of the bribe money.

Meanwhile Deputy Speaker of the DPR Fadli Zon said briefly,”First we will check if the news is true or not.”

“I was shocked,” said artist turned politician Nurul Arifin, who is known to be close to Setya Novanto as a Golkar lawmaker.

In fact, KPKs announcement about Setya Novanto as a suspect has been long expected, but still it was a big news as it concerns a powerful and cunning politician.

A political observer said Setya Novanto was popular not on good performance but more for his political craftiness how he had escaped from a number of legal and ethical cases he faced earlier.

Undoubtedly the Setya Novanto case would be a public debate especially among the politicians, community leaders, even perhaps foreign diplomats in the country.

Indonesian diplomats and representatives abroad have to be ready to answer questions that the countrys House Speaker may end up in jail.

The alleged embezzlement of Rp2.3 trillion of the fund for the procurement of e-ID card has drawn wide public attention after Miryam was named a suspect and later arrested by KPK for giving false testimony. Miryam withdrew her statements given to KPK investigators about bribe money she received to be distributed among the lawmakers of the House Commission II. She told the court when she stood as a witness in a trail of a suspect that she was forced by her investigators to make and sign the statements.

A CCTV video, however, confirmed by experts showed no sign of force used by KPK investigators. KPK arrested her on charge of false testimony.

The conflict between KPK and DPR led to the House setting up a special committee for Inquiry Right known as KPK Pansus to inquire the performance of KPK. The conflict sharpened when KPK refused to hand over Miryam for questioning by the Pansus. KPK said it even questioned the legal status of the Pansus.

Some observers were quick to take a conclusion that the move by KPK in naming Setya Novanto a suspect was a retaliation at the maneuver of the Pansus seen as an attack on KPK. The anti graft agency , however, said the decision to name Setya Novanto a suspect has nothing to do with its conflict with the Pansus.

Observers said Pansus was set up for the interest of individuals among the lawmakers. The arrest of Setya Novanto might have rendered a big blow to the initiators of Pansus. KPK has shown it is determined to carry out its mission to stamp out corruption from the country. Most of the Pansus members including its chairman Agun Gunanjar are implicated in the e-ID card corruption case.

Aware of the public rejection, the Pansus visited the police headquarters and the attorney general office apparently to seek support. They even visited prison to interview corruption convicts to hear their complaints about how KPK had treated them. The convicts said they were treated badly. The Pansus also invited lawyer Yusril Mahendra and law experts Romli Atmasasmita, both known to be critical of the government and KPK to hear their opinions about its conflict with KPK.

Meanwhile, KPK said it would reveal the role of Setya Novanto in the e-ID card corruption case at court.

“We will hand over the evidence at court . KPK would bring all evidence needed in the process of court investigation to convince the court and the public that we are on the right track,” its chairman Agus Rahardjo said.

He said KPK would continue to work hard to bring to the open all corruption cases. He said the people are expected to back up KPK in fighting corruption especially ones involving powerful officials.

“KPK belongs to the people , therefore, we expect full support from the people,” he said, adding, the efforts to uproot corruption including e-ID card graft case are implementation of obligation to the people.”

He said KPK would not be discouraged by witnesses retracting statements as the agency does not rely on the statements in the dossiers, adding KPK came to court with enough evidence.

Agus also dismissed the effect of the possibility of Setya Novamto seeking pretrial, saying it is his right.

“No way to reject pretrial. If necessary we will face him there,” he said.

A number of witnesses have retracted their statements given earlier to their investigators about Setya Novanto such as Chief Executive of PT Sandipala Artha Putra Paulus Tannos.

Earlier Paulus told his KPK investigators he met Setya Novanto twice, but at court he said he met the House Speaker only once.

KPK already named a number of other suspects in the e-ID card case including former Director General of Population and Civil Registration of the Home Affairs Ministry Irman and another senior official of the Ministry Sugiharto, both have been tried at special Corruption Court.

The KPK prosecutor asked the court to punish Irman with a 7 years imprisonment and a fine of Rp500 million. The prosecutor also demand a compensation of US$273,700 , Rp2.248 billion and S.$6,000 otherwise he would stay in jail 2 years longer.

The court was asked to mete out a 5-year jail term for Sugiharto plus a fine of Rp400 million . He was also demanded to pay a compensation of Rp500 million or an additional jail term of a year.

Other suspects include Miryam Andi Agustinus and lawmaker Markus Nari.

On Monday a politician of the Golkar party Ahmad Doli Kurnia said the involvement of a number of the Golkar cadres in the KPK Pansus has damaged the image of the party.

“Internal survey showed that Golkar would garner only 11 percent of the votes if elections are held today, shrinking from 14.75 percent in the 2014 general elections. Around 67 percent of the decline was caused by the electronic-ID card corruption case,” Doli said.

Doli said Golkar lawmakers among the members of the Pansus have also issued unpopular statements such as the idea of freezing KPK .

The statement clearly hurt the image of Golkar, he said, adding, the Pansus chaired by the Golkar faction has faced growing rejection from the public.

He said the longer the e-ID card corruption case left as a public issue , the worst the impact on Golkar, he said.

The Pansus is represented by a number of factions with members implicated in the big corruption case including the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), Nasdem, Gerindra, PAN, PPP, and Hanura.

Pansuss attempt to use police force to drag Miryam from KPKs detention center also failed.

Source: Antara News