Category : News, Politics, Education, Featured, Corruption
Jakarta. Testimony implicating Muhammad Nuh, minister for education and culture, in graft-ridden projects involving his ministry and several lawmakers, emerged on Monday during the trial of former Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum.
Graft convict and former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin said Nuh attended meetings where several ministry projects were being discussed.
Also present at these meetings were Anas and former Democratic Party deputy secretary general Angelina Sondakh, who was also convicted in a graft case.
“There were me, Anas, Angelina Sondakh and Pak Nuh [in the meetings], held in Pak Nuh’s home,” Nazaruddin told Monday’s hearing. “Those meetings were intended to clear things up concerning projects at the education ministry.”
He further claimed that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) had proof of these meetings. Nazaruddin didn't provide details on the level of Nuh's involvement of any impropriety.
In a previous hearing, former lawmaker Angelina said the Democratic Party faction at the House of Representatives had been promised Rp 400 billion ($34 million) in “commission” for projects authorized by House Commission X, which oversees education, tourism and sports affairs. Anas is a former head of the commission.
Another witness, former graft convict Mindo Rosalina Manulang, earlier said the money was specifically expected to come from procurement projects in 20 to 30 state universities — which must be approved by the education ministry and lawmakers.
Nazaruddin on Monday added that he had dispatched a total of $1 million to Anas from companies at the center of the graft case, including Permai Group, which is owned by Nazaruddin and allegedly also by Anas. Nazaruddin dismissed a previous accusation that the money was transferred instead to House Speaker Marzuki Alie, a patron of the Democratic Party.
“[The money] was given after the congress [of the Democratic Party in 2010, which saw Anas elected as party chairman]; it was for Anas,” Nazaruddin said.
“That also includes money handed over in October 2010, and the approximately Rp 50 billion in rupiah and dollar notes delivered to Anas’s home.”
He added that Anas needed the money to support his presidential ambitions. That was well understood by Democratic Party politicians such as Saan Mustopa, Sudewo, Pasha Ismaya and Umar Arsal — according to Nazaruddin.
“Actually Saan, Dewo, Pasha and Umar Arsal all knew [about Anas's presidential ambitions], but they wouldn’t talk about it during trial,” he said. “If only I had recorded [Anas’s statement about him wanting to be president], everyone would know whose statement is true.”
Rosa, as Mindo is better known, said while she was a marketing manager of Anak Negeri, a company owned by Nazaruddin and allegedly also by Anas, Nazaruddin told her to make money available to support Anas’s bid for the party chairmanship and for a presidential bid later.
“We wanted Pak Anas to be chairman [of the Democratic Party]. After he became the chairman, we wanted to make Pak Anas the president [of Indonesia],” Rosa said during a hearing last Thursday. “Those were Pak Nazaruddin’s orders. He wanted us to make money for the congress.”
Rosa added, though, that Nazaruddin had specifically instructed that Anas’s name should never be mentioned when Anak Negeri lobbied for projects.
Nazaruddin said on Monday that Anas had asked him to eliminate evidence that might connect him with graft allegations — including some financial documents of the central board of the Democratic Party, the party faction at the House and companies both of them ran.
He said Anas instructed him to do so soon after Rosa was arrested in 2011 over the athletes’ village construction graft case, which implicated the sports ministry.
“After the Democrats’ congress, yes [he ordered us to burn those documents]. Anas told me to remove all the data,” Nazaruddin said.
Nazaruddin added that Anas also told him to leave the country for a while until the situation was conducive for him to return.
Prosecutors accused Anas of receiving bribes — including a Toyota Harrier worth Rp 650 million and a Toyota Vellfire worth Rp 750 million — in connection with the Hambalang sports center project, which was commissioned by the sports ministry and the previously mentioned procurement projects for state universities.
“[Anas accepted] those gifts, or commitments, although they were allegedly given so that the defendant, as a lawmaker, could smooth the Hambalang project and other projects at the sports ministry, projects ... at the education ministry and other projects funded by the state budgets and won by Permai Group,” prosecutor Yudi Kristiana said in a May hearing.