Saturday, 12 July 2008

Pelalawan Forest Exploitation - Rusli Zainal Drawn In

Pelalawan Forest Exploitation - Rusli Zainal Drawn In

Source: Tempo Interactive - July 3, 2008 Jakarta

Syuhada Tasman, former Riau Forestry Office Chief who is now a suspect, revealed Rusli’s involvement when he was being questioned as a witness in the case involving Pelalawan Regent Tengku Azmun Jaafar, at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) November 13 last year.

Syuhada said that in late 2003, he reported some RKT assessment submitted by several companies to the Riau Regent. To Rusli, Syuhada said that he could not sign and endorse the RKT since the Forestry Department had not completed its verification process.“RKT is a routine procedure.

Besides, we need to speed up the development of plantations. Just prepare the documents. I will sign it if necessary,” said Rusli as cited by Syuhada in the investigation document, which Tempo has a copy of.

After that Rusli signed many RKTs of companies.In the report, Syuhada said that the Riau Governor does not have the authority to ratify the RKT, because the Forestry Minister Decree No. 6652/KPTS – II/2002 July 4, 2002 states that the authority lies with Riau’s Forestry Service Chief.

When Tempo met up with Rusli, he refused to comment on the accusations. “Later. No comment,” he said. When asked about the RKT ratification, during an event announcing his gubernatorial candidacy in Riau last Monday, Rusli refused to comment.Rusli commented on this case a while ago. According to him, he was not involved.

“This is purely gratification matter,” he said.Until this news was published, Syuhada would not clarify. However, Azmun Jaafar confirmed the case. “Rusli did sign several RKTs,” he told Tempo yesterday.

Azmun also said that Rusli Zainal must be held responsible for this case and also for using Riau Governor recommendations as a base in ratifying the RKTs.Rusli’s involvement in illegal logging was revealed by the Riau Regional Police last year.

The Regional Police Chief even wrote to The National Police headquarters to ask the President to issue decree allowing for the investigation of a governor.Riau Police sent the proposal to the National Police criminal Investigation division on July 2007. However, until today the summons has not been executed (Tempo Daily, November 14, 2007). setri yasra │jupernalis samosir