Jakarta. Prosecutors on Thursday accused ousted Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum of playing the victim in his trial for alleged corruption surrounding the construction of the graft-ridden Hambalang sports center in Bogor, West Java.
"The defendant has been trying so hard to come up with logic and justification [for the notion] that he was a victim in a political war, as if the fact is that he was taken to this court was part of a political scenario and that we [the prosecution] are part of that scenario," prosecutor Yudi Kristiana told the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court. "The defendant consciously, systematically and calculatingly tried so hard to drag this honorable court into the political scheme by dramatizing the legal process, from the investigation to the trial."
Anas has been charged with graft and money laundering in connection to the sport center project, which had originally been conceived as single-year undertaking worth Rp 300 billion ($25.8 billion), but was later revised to a multi-year one costing Rp 2.5 trillion.
Anas has alleged the corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) was pressured by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to name him a suspect.
"I really hope the trial can run objectively, fair and independent, without any pressure from powerful hands and orchestrated opinions," he told the court last week.
The KPK detained Anas on Jan. 10, alleging that he took bribes from contractors attached to the project.
The sports minister at the time, Andi Mallarangeng, also from the Democratic Party, is currently standing trial for graft.
Since his arrest, Anas has cast himself as a crusader subject to Yudhoyono's powerful influence, even comparing himself to boy wizard Harry Potter and insinuating that Yudhoyono was more like Potter's nemesis, "#YouKnowWho."