Thursday, 9 October 2008

KPK grills lawmaker on Banyuasin forestry graft

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

KPK grills lawmaker on Banyuasin forestry graft

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Wed, 10/08/2008

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Wednesday questioned Tamsil Linrung, a lawmaker of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), over the development of a protected forest area in Banyuasin, South Sumatra.

Tamsil, who is also a member of House Commission IV on forestry, agriculture and fisheries, said he was questioned about receiving a bribe from businessman Chandra Antonio Tan."I don't know him and have never met him," Tamsil told reporters after the questioning session.

KPK claimed that several members of the commission received a total Rp 5 billion (US$520,000) in checks from Chandra and Sofyan Rebuin, manager of the Tanjung Api Api Seaport management and development body, to expedite an approval of the forest conversion.Tamsil admitted that House Commission IV had received money from its secretariat, but had forgotten how much.

"I don't know whether it was from Chandra, but I have returned the money to the KPK," he said.Previously, the Corruption Court sentenced Sarjan Tahir, a member of the commission from the Democratic Party, to 20 years in prison for his role in the graft case. Sarjan reportedly distributed money to 21 other members of the commission. (dre)