Sofyan Basir, the suspended president director of state utility firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), arrives for questioning at the offices of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in South Jakarta on Monday night. (Antara Photo/Aprillio Akbar)

KPK Detains PLN Chief in Riau-1 Power Plant Bribery Case

BY :TELLY NATHALIA

MAY 28, 2019

Jakarta. Corruption investigators decided on Monday night to detain Sofyan Basir, the suspended president director of state utility firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara, on bribery allegations involving the Riau-1 coal-fired power plant project.

Sofyan arrived for questioning at the offices of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in South Jakarta at 7 p.m. He emerged from the building about four hours later, wearing an orange vest, indicating his status as a corruption detainee. He declined to comment.

"It is regrettable that my client must be detained almost at the end of Ramadan and just a few days before Lebaran," Sofyan's lawyer, Susilo Ari Wibowo, told journalists outside the KPK building, referring to the upcoming Idul Fitri holiday.

Sofyan was questioned about several meetings he had with other suspects in the case, his lawyer said.

The KPK declared Sofyan a suspect last month after finding solid evidence in its investigation against the four initial suspects – Eni Maulani Saragih, former deputy chairwoman of House of Representatives Commission VII, which oversees energy affairs; Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo, a shareholder in miner Blackgold Natural Resources; Idrus Marham, a former social affairs minister; and Samin Tan, owner of Borneo Lumbung Energi & Metal.

The antigraft agency previously said Sofyan, a former banker, was alleged to have assisted Eni in receiving a bribe from Johannes. Some of the illicit money was reportedly also channeled to him through Eni and Idrus.

"S.F.B. was allegedly promised an equal amount as Eni Maulani Saragih and Idrus Marham," the KPK said in a written statement in April, referring to Sofyan by his initials.

The bribe was paid to ensure that Samantaka Batubara, a subsidiary of Singapore-based Blackgold Natural Resources, would be included in the 600-megawatt Riau-1 power-plant project on Sumatra Island.

Eni has been sentenced to six years' imprisonment, while Idrus, a fellow Golkar politician, received three years.

Johannes was jailed for four years and six months after the Jakarta High Court increased his initial sentence of two years and eight months.

The link between Sofyan and Samin Tan in the bribery case is still unclear, as well as the businessman's role.

Sofyan faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine up to Rp 1 billion ($71,000), if found guilty.

SHARE

RECOMMENDED STORIES