Jakarta. Prominent lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis showed up for questioning on Friday (22/12) as a witness in a prolonged graft probe into irregularities surrounding the disbursement of Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance, or BLBI, funds.
Todung, having failed to attend last week, eventually testified against former Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (BPPN) chairman Syafruddin Arsyad Temenggung.
Todung's questioning comes just a day after investigators placed Syafruddin, who remains the sole suspect in the case, in custody.
The government, under the BLBI scheme, disbursed Rp 144.5 trillion ($10.69 billion) funds to 48 commercial banks during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98.
Bank Dagang Nasional Indonesia (BDNI) received Rp 28 trillion and was obliged to return Rp 4.8 trillion, but Syafruddin issued a letter releasing BDNI owner Sjamsul Nursalim from paying the remaining Rp 3.7 trillion.
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Priharsa Nugraha, referring to Todung's questioning, stopped short of saying: "It's related to what he knows about the issuance of the letter to BDNI."
BPPN should have issued such letters in coordination with the Financial Sector Policy Committee (KKSK), whose role in the BLBI scheme is currently also being examined by investigators.
Todung, coming out of KPK headquarters in Jakarta, told reporters he was a member of a legal team established by the government at that time to assist the now-defunct Financial System Stability Committee (KKSK) in conducting "obedience assessments" on "problematic obligors."
"There were many problematic obligors at that time, including BDNI," Todung said, but declined to comment when asked about the results of KKSK's assessment on BDNI.
KKSK was established by then-President Habibie to oversee BPPN in seeking the return of funds from BLBI obligors. A 2002 presidential instruction issued by then-President Megawati Soekarnoputri strengthened KKSK's mandate.
KKSK was headed by then coordinating economic minister Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti.
Its members included then-finance minister Boediono, National Development Planning Board chairman Kwik Kian Gie, state-owned enterprises minister Laksamana Sukardi and trade and industry minister Rini Soemarno.
Dorodjatun, Kwik Kian Gie and Laksamana have all faced KPK questioning as witnesses in the BLBI case. The graft probe commenced about four years ago.
Former BPPN chairman Syafruddin was named a suspect in the case earlier this year.