Massive Graft Case Against House Speaker Lands in Court

The Jakarta Corruption Court rejected an objection plea by Setya Novanto's lawyers on Thursday (04/01) and ruled that his trial must proceed. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

By : Alin Almanar | on 11:50 PM December 06, 2017
Category : News, Corruption

Jakarta. Prosecutors have transferred to the Jakarta Corruption Court the files over Setya Novanto's involvement in embezzling funds from a multi-million dollar project, antigraft agency spokesman said on Wednesday (06/12).

For months the House of Representatives speaker appeared to be evading investigation into the case.

Named a suspect in July, in October Setya won a pretrial appeal at the South Jakarta District Court to have the status dropped.

Investigators from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) managed to bring charges against him again a few weeks later.

The second investigation against Setya involved 99 witnesses, including fellow lawmakers and businessmen, KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said, adding that the speaker's case files were complete on Tuesday and on Wednesday were transferred to the antigraft court.

Setya is accused of siphoning Rp 574 billion ($42 million) from the Rp 5.9 trillion worth national electronic identity cards project, known as e-KTP, that resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion state losses.

"We'll later see how it unfolded, from the process of budget deliberation, meetings, to the flow of funds to several parties," Febri said, referring to the charges against Setya.

He added that KPK is now waiting for the establishment of a panel of judges.

Wednesday's case handover came amid another attempt by Setya to have his suspect status dropped by the South Jakarta District Court. According to the code of criminal procedures, the pretrial motion will be invalidated once the indictment against Setya is read out at the Jakarta Corruption Court.

An initial hearing for the pretrial is scheduled for Thursday. Febri said KPK officials will attend it.

"This, for sure, will create a legal debate whether the pretrial lawsuit is relevant or not," he said.

"But for us it's simple. We'll attend tomorrow's hearing. This is for the good of all of us, the public, law enforcers, as well as the suspect himself."

Setya had repeatedly failed to show up for KPK questionings, both as a suspect and witness, and denied any wrongdoing. He also evaded arrest and was finally placed in custody in late November.

The non-active Golkar Party chairman can face up to 20 years in jail, if convicted.

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