Antigraft investigators question Social Affairs Minister Idrus Marham and have PLN president director Sofyan Basyir in an ongoing investigation into a bribery case related to a power plant project. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

Social Affairs Minister, PLN Chief Questioned in Power Plant Graft Case


JULY 20, 2018

Jakarta. Antigraft investigators questioned Social Affairs Minister Idrus Marham on Thursday (20/07) and have summoned Sofyan Basyir, president director of state-owned utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara, for questioning on Friday, in an ongoing investigation into a bribery case related to a power plant project.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigates Idrus's meeting with Eni Maulani Saragih, a deputy chairman of House of Representatives Commission VII, which oversees energy, related to the 600 megawatts Riau-1 coal-fired power plant project in Sumatra.

"We confirmed that Idrus Marham, who is now a witness in the case, had previously held several meetings with EMS [Eni Maulani Saragih], a suspect in this power plant project [graft case]," KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said on Thursday.

Idrus, former Golkar Party secretary general, arrived at the KPK building at around 10 a.m. to face a 12-hour questioning session.

Earlier this month, Eni, who is also a Golkar politician, was arrested by KPK as she allegedly received a Rp 4.8 billion ($334,000) bribe from one of the shareholders of mining company BlackGold Natural Resources Limited, Johannes Kotjo, for the $900 million worth Riau-1 project.

Eni was arrested at Idrus's house on July 13, while attending his child's birthday party. On the same day, KPK also arrested in Jakarta a number of people allegedly involved in the case.

The antigraft agency named Eni a suspect

She allegedly received Rp 2 billion in kickbacks in December, around Rp 2 billion in March, and the rest before she was caught.

She was reportedly expected to pave the way for BlackGold to secure its position in the Riau-1 project.

In a statement released on Monday, BlackGold denied its involvement in the bribery case. The Singapore-based firm said Johannes only joined the company as a consultant in June this year.

The Riau plant has been developed by a consortium of PLN's subsidiary Pembangkitan Jawa Bali (PJB), BlackGold Natural Resources parent company Samantaka Batubara and China Huadian Engineering Co.

Tender procedures have been skipped when PJB appointed BlackGold to the consortium.

KPK also searched the headquarters of PLN and the home of Sofyan earlier this week, looking for documents related to the project. Sofyan said no documents have been confiscated.

He also denied any involvement in the case and told reporters he is only a witness.

Investigators questioned PJB president director Investasi Gunawan Yudi Hariyanto as a witness on Thursday.

The Riau-1 project is part of the government's 35,000 megawatt national electricity program.