Saturday, 2 August 2008

President to question ministers on alleged bribery case

Saturday, August 2, 2008

President to question ministers on alleged bribery case

The Jakarta Post Fri, 08/01/2008

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will summon two of his ministers next week to question them over their alleged involvement in the central bank bribery case, an official says.

"Next week the President will summon State Minister for National Development Planning Paskah Suzetta and Forestry Minister M.S. Ka'ban," said presidential spokesperson Andi Mallarangeng in Jakarta on Friday afternoon.

The President, he said, would conduct an inquiry due to the testimony of lawmaker Hamka Yamdhu in a Corruption Court hearing on the ongoing trial of the central bank's bribery case.Andi explained that the President's decision was part of his Cabinet's commitment to maintaining transparency and to be clean from corruption.

Hamka, a lawmaker from the Golkar Party, testified Monday to distributing a total of Rp 31.5 billion in cash from then BI communication bureau head Rusli Simanjuntak to all members ofHouse of Representatives Commission XI overseeing financial affairs in 2003.

According to Hamka, Paskah who at that time was the chairman of the commission received Rp 1 billion while vice chairman Ka'ban received Rp 300 million."I personally gave the money to Paskah in four installments. As for M.S. Ka'ban, I gave him Rp 300 million," Hamka told the Corruption Court hearing the case of former BI legal affairsdeputy Oey Hoey Tiong and Rusli.

The bribery case revolves around the BI board of governors' decision in a June 3, 2003, meeting to disburse Rp 100 billion in BI funds to cover the legal expenses of five former senior BI officials and payment for the House's Commission IX members.Former BI governor Burhanuddin Abdullah is also standing trial separately in the graft case.Former BI senior official Paul Soetopo also testified before the court Monday, admitting to accepting Rp 10 billion from the BI fund.