Jakarta. Banten Governor Rano Karno allegedly received billions of rupiah in bribes from the family of his predecessor, graft convict Ratu Atut Chosiyah, in 2011 in exchange for being her running mate.
The accusations were lashed out by Maqdir Ismail, the lawyer for Atut's brother Tubagus Chaeri Wardana, who approached the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Tuesday to divulge details of the alleged bribery.
“Wawan has already submitted [evidence] to the KPK,” the lawyer, said referring to his client by his nickname.
Rano assumed Atut's role as governor after her arrest in 2014 for bribing disgraced former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar to sway the results of an election dispute in Lebak, Banten.
Atut was officially removed from office after she was found guilty and sentenced to four years' imprisonment in July. The scandal also implicated her brother Wawan, who is currently serving a five-year jail term.
The bribe was meant to overturn the results of the Lebak district election and make Amir Hamzah, Atut’s chosen candidate, the winner.
Maqdir said Wawan gave Rano, a famous actor and producer before entering politics, the supposed bribe money through an intermediary in 2011 to convince him to run as Atut's running mate. She later won the election by a landslide, thanks in part to Rano's popularity.
Maqdir said he doesn't know the exact amount given to Rano, but added that it was between Rp 1 billion and Rp 2 billion ($72,150-$144,300).
Rano was at the time the deputy district head of Tangerang, on the western outskirts of Jakarta, which would make him fall under the KPK's jurisdiction.
“It is up to the KPK whether they decide to investigate [Rano]. However, there is no reason why they shouldn't,” Maqdir said.
Rano quickly dismissed the accusations, saying in a statement that they "are full of lies and deceits.”