House Speaker Skips Graft Trial, Sues Immigration Office

An anticorruption activist wears a mask of Setya Novanto. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

By : Fana Suparman & Amal Ganesha | on 7:16 PM October 21, 2017
Category : News, Politics, Featured, Corruption

Jakarta. House Speaker Setya Novanto skipped a court hearing related to the misappropriation of funds in the electronic identity cards project, known as e-KTP, at the Jakarta Anticorruption Court on Friday (20/10), citing "other important activities."

Setya, whose suspect status in the case was dropped by a pretrial, was scheduled to appear as a witness in a trial of Andi Agustinus, also known as Andi Narogong, a businessman who is accused of being involved in the e-KTP graft scheme. The project was worth Rp 5.9 trillion ($443 million).

Setya also skipped a previous summons on Oct. 9, as on that day he had a medical check-up.

"Today, we are going to hear witness testimonies in a trial session of suspect Andi Agustinus. [The Corruption Eradication Commission] KPK has just received a letter from the House saying that its Speaker Setya Novanto cannot attend the trial," KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said on Friday.

Setya reportedly asked KPK prosecutors to read his investigation report (BAP) instead.

"KPK prosecutors are considering his request and [have to decide] whether he will be summoned again," Febri said.

The case has been investigated since 2015. The first trial started in March and in July saw the Home Ministry's former officials Irman and Sugiharto sentenced to seven and five years in prison. The graft resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion state losses.

Looking for Loopholes 

The Immigration Office has barred Setya from leaving Indonesia until April next year, as requested by the KPK. The Golkar Party chairman has in turn sued the office at the Jakarta State Administrative Court.

Setya's action was recorded on the court's website on Friday.

According to the KPK, the suit is pointless.

"Based on the law, the KPK can prevent someone from travelling abroad ... so if the substance of the suit is about the ban, then it's very weak," Febri said.

"The Immigration Office only acted in accordance with the law, they are right," he added.

The court that has dropped Setya's suspect status at the same time refused to lift the travel ban.

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