Jakarta. Antigraft commission deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto has denied allegations by former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Akil Mochtar that he had asked for an endorsement of his appointment.
“I was one of the best [candidates] during the fit-and-proper test [by the House of Representatives], so why should I ask for Akil’s help?” Bambang said on Wednesday. “I have never done anything inappropriate.”
Akil said, speaking before his trial on Monday, that Bambang had approached him and asked that he help him become one of the chairs of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, at the House of Representatives (DPR) appoints officials to the KPK, and Akil supposedly has influence in the legislature because Akil had been a deputy chairman of the commission from the year 2004 to 2006.
Akil also said that Bambang had met with him to help settle an election dispute in Kotawaringin Barat, Central Kalimantan that was being handled by the Constitutional Court.
“He [Bambang] rode with me in a car from the Constitutional Court’s headquarters to Pasar Minggu [South Jakarta]. I drove him. We talked about the Kotawaringin Barat dispute. He was the attorney [for the case]. He asked for my help, but no promises were made. My assistant witnessed this,” he said.
Bambang was the attorney for Ujang Iskandar and Bambang Purwanto, both of whom were vying to be district chief of that region. The pair filed a lawsuit to the Constitutional Court related to the Kotawaringin Barat branch of the General Election Commission (KPUD), which declared their opponents Sugianto and Eko Soemarno winners of the district chief election.
The court subsequently disqualified KPUD’s decision and named Ujang and Bambang winners of the election instead.
Bambang refuted the allegations, saying he had never met with Akil in order to settle the election dispute case. He challenged Akil to prove his accusations.
“Please prove it, along with the Kotawaringin case. Just open the files of the case. Everything is clear there,” Bambang said.
Prosecutors on Monday demanded a life sentence for Akil, which would be the harshest sentence in Indonesian history if he were found guilty of corruption. The disgraced chief judge is accused of having taken bribes in 15 election disputes tried in the Constitutional Court as well as laundering Rp 161 billion ($14 million) between October 2010 and October 2013.