Bank Indonesia Bribery Case Presses On
Once described as close friends, united by a passion for Hermes bags, businesswoman Nunun Nurbaetie and economist Miranda Swaray Goeltom showed no signs of intimacy on Monday as they embroiled in a war of words over Miranda’s alleged role in 2004 bribery case.
Testifying at Miranda’s trial, Nunun said that Miranda approached her shortly before she underwent a fit-and-proper test at the House of Representatives during her bid for Bank Indonesia Senior Deputy Governor post.
“Miranda called me asking me to set up a meeting [with lawmakers],” Nunun told the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court. The meeting, Nunun said, took place in her house in Cipete, South Jakarta and was attended by Golkar Party politicians Paskah Suzetta and Hamka Yandhu and former United Development Party (PPP) lawmaker Endin J. Soefihara.
At the meeting, Miranda told the politicians that she was not looking to be “humiliated again in 2004” as she was in 2003 when she lost her bid to lead the central bank from Burhanuddin Abdullah.
“[Miranda] asked for [the politicians’] help so that all runs smoothly,” Nunun said. As they were about to say goodbye, Nunun said, Miranda told the politicians that they would get more than just “thank yous.” Miranda immediately responded, “There was no thank you project. I object because the meeting never happened.”
Nunun is serving a two-and-a-half-year prison term for channeling Rp 20.8 billion to lawmakers who voted for Miranda. A total of 28 lawmakers have been jailed for receiving the bribe money, including Paskah, Endin and Hamka.
Last week, Paskah also denied that the meeting took place. “I have never staged a meeting with the defendant [Miranda] in Nunun’s house. I also never attended the meeting in Hotel Mulia,” he told the court.
But Agus Condro Prayitno, the former Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) legislator who blew the whistle on the bribes, told the court that he had learned about Miranda’s alleged offer from Tjahjo Kumolo, a senior PDI-P politician.
He said that in a meeting with other PDI-P legislators serving on the House vetting committee for the central bank post, Tjahjo told them that the party had decided it would vote for Miranda. Agus, who also served time for his role in the case, said that after the meeting, all members of the vetting committee were invited to meet with Miranda at a hotel to discuss her candidacy. Just hours before Miranda was due to be interviewed by the House, he was handed a brown envelope by Dudhie Makmun Murodh, the PDI-P treasurer at the House, containing Rp 500 million in traveler’s checks.