Police: Getting Scandal-Linked Oilman Back to Indonesia Will Be Difficult

Students in Makassar, South Sulawesi, burn images of then House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto, who is accused of having tried to extort money from Freeport Indonesia. (Antara Photo/Yusran Uccang)

By : Farouk Arnaz | on 5:49 PM December 09, 2015
Category : News, Corruption

Jakarta. The National Police will not launch an effort to get a prominent businessman at the center of a shakedown scandal back to Indonesia unless the force is requested to do so by the House of Representatives's Ethics Council or the Attorney General's Office, which are both investigating the case, Indonesia's police chief said on Wednesday.

Gen. Badrodin Haiti has earlier said that oilman M. Riza Chalid “already flew out of Indonesia and is hiding in an Asian country.”

Badrodin said on Wednesday that police can only urge Riza to return to the country, and little else. The general also said that the two institutions interested in hearing Riza's testimony had not filed an official request to retrieve the businessman.

“We will ask help from Interpol if there is indeed an official request from the Ethics Council," Badrodin said. "Interpol will instruct its member countries to look for that person.”

The National Police's chief of international affairs, Insp. Gen. Ketut Untung Yoga, said Indonesia would have a hard time convincing Interpol to arrest Riza because he has not been named a criminal suspect.

“Interpol had set certain criteria for a person to be considered a fugitive. So if the subpoena comes from the Ethics Council it cannot [be forwarded to the Interpol]. But if the AGO were to make the request [to catch Riza] then yes we can ask for an arrest,” he explained

Riza is likely to have played a central role in the Freeport shakedown scandal, a secret recording of a meeting between him, House Speaker Setya Novanto and Freeport Indonesia CEO Maroef Sjamsoeddin suggests.

The AGO earlier said that even though Setya had not successfully obtained $4 billion worth of Freeport shares, he could be charged for attempted corruption, which carries the same penalty as the actual act.

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