House Speaker Setya to Face Ethics Tribunal Over Freeport Shakedown

An ethics tribunal into allegations of extortion by House Speaker Setya Novanto, center, could potentially lead to the Golkar Party politician being unseated from his top post. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

By : Hotman Siregar | on 6:10 PM November 24, 2015
Category : News, Featured, Corruption

Jakarta. The House of Representatives’ Ethics Council will soon set up a tribunal to hear a complaint against Speaker Setya Novanto, who is alleged of trying to shake down mining giant Freeport Indonesia for up to $4 billion in shares.

Junimart Girsang, a deputy chairman of the ethics council, said on Tuesday that a closed-door meeting of the council had agreed that the case, first reported last week by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said, should proceed to a tribunal.

That could potentially lead to Setya, from the Golkar Party, being unseated as House speaker.

Junimart said the council members would reconvene next Monday “to determine the date of the [tribunal] hearing and who will be invited [to testify].”

“According to [procedure], we will definitely summon [Sudirman] to provide statements based on his complaint [against Setya]. It is possible that more people will be summoned [to testify],” he said.

The tribunal will be open to reporters, Junimart continued, unless the witnesses prefer otherwise.

The decision on whether to hold a tribunal was supposed to have been made on Monday, but some members of the House Ethics Council reportedly questioned whether Sudirman had legal standing to lodge a complaint against the speaker. Others questioned the validity of audio recordings submitted by Sudirman, made by Freeport Indonesia chief executive Maroef Sjamsoeddin during a meeting in June with Setya and oilman Muhammad Riza Chalid.

Setya is at the heart of an unraveling controversy revolving around Freeport Indonesia’s highly anticipated share divestment, valued at an estimated $4 billion.

In his complaint filed last week, Energy Minister Sudirman alleges that Setya claimed to be acting on behalf of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla when demanding a 20 percent stake in the copper and gold miner.

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