Graft Suspect Setya Novanto Resigns as House Speaker

Setya Novanto will stand trial on Wednesday (13/12). (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A)

By : Markus Junianto Sihaloho and Fana Suparman | on 8:41 PM December 11, 2017
Category : News, Politics, Corruption

Jakarta. House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto, who is charged with multimillion-dollar graft, has resigned from the post, a House Ethics Council official said on Monday (11/12).

Last week, Setya wrote a resignation letter, in which he nominated Aziz Syamsuddin of the Golkar Party to replace him.

The letter was delivered to the House on Dec. 6 by Robert Jopie Kardinal, chairman of the Golkar fraction in the legislature.

"In the resignation letter he [Setya] also nominated Aziz Syamsuddin to replace him," the council's deputy chairman Syarifuddin Sudding said, as quoted by BeritaSatu.com.

In November, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named Setya as a suspect in a massive graft case surrounding the national identity cards (e-KTP) procurement project.

The non-active Golkar chairman is accused of embezzling Rp 574 billion ($42 million) from the Rp 5.9 trillion project, which resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion state loses.

KPK named Setya a suspect in July, but he was acquitted in a pretrial motion in early October. The antigraft agency managed to charge him again a few weeks later, after which he requested another pretrial motion.

While the pretrial decision is expected from the South Jakarta District Court on Thursday, on Wednesday graft charges against Setya will be read at the Jakarta Corruption Court.

The pretrial motion may be voided by the antigraft court.

Ahead of Trial

Setya's lawyers Otto Hasibuan and Fredicrch Yunadi left his defense team at the end of last week.

Other lawyers, led by senior attorney Maqdir Ismail, said they are ready to assist Setya.

"We want to hear the prosecutors' charges first and, of course, many things need to be discussed … to design an appropriate [defense] strategy," Setya's lawyer Firman Wijaya said on Monday, as quoted by Suara Pembaruan.

Setya can face 20 years in prison, if convicted.

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