Jakarta. Antigraft investigators placed a former Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency, or BPPN, chairman in custody on Thursday (21/12) in a prolonged probe into irregularities surrounding the disbursement of Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance, or BLBI, funds.
The move followed the questioning of Syafruddin Arsyad Temenggung, who was named a suspect in the high-profile case earlier this year.
Priharsa Nugraha, a spokesman for Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), said Syafruddin is held at the agency'a detention as reported by Antara news agency.
The government, under the BLBI scheme, disbursed Rp 144.5 trillion ($10.69 billion) funds to 48 commercial banks during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98.
Bank Dagang Nasional Indonesia (BDNI) received Rp 28 trillion and was obliged to return Rp 4.8 trillion, but Syafruddin issued a letter releasing BDNI owner Sjamsul Nursalim from paying the remaining Rp 3.7 trillion.
BPPN should have issued such letters in coordination with the Financial Sector Policy Committee (KKSK), whose role in the BLBI scheme is currently also being examined by investigators.
Syafruddin, coming out of KPK headquarters in Jakarta, donned the trademark orange KPK detainee vest.
Investigators placed Syafruddin in the detention facility at KPK headquarters for an initial period of 20 days, spokesman Priharsa Nugraha told reporters.
Syafruddin, denying any wrongdoing, said: "All have been based on agreements with KKSK, I only followed the regulations."
He promised to be cooperative during the investigation process.
KKSK was established by then-President Habibie to oversee BPPN in seeking the return of funds from BLBI obligors. A 2002 presidential instruction issued by then-President Megawati Soekarnoputri strengthened KKSK's mandate.
KKSK was headed by then coordinating economic minister Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti.
Its members included then-finance minister Boediono, National Development Planning Board chairman Kwik Kian Gie, state-owned enterprises minister Laksamana Sukardi and trade and industry minister Rini Soemarno.
Dorodjatun, Kwik Kian Gie and Laksamana have all faced KPK questioning as witnesses in the BLBI case. The graft probe commenced about four years ago, but Syafruddin remains the sole suspect.