Bribes Were Taken in Hambalang Project, KPK Officials Say
Rizky Amelia & Markus Junianto Sihaloho
The Corruption Eradication Commission has determined that there was foul play in the construction of the Hambalang sports center in Bogor, the agency’s chief said on Monday.
The commission known as the KPK is now trying to determine exactly how much money the graft cost the state, chairman Abraham Samad said.
“We are still calculating the actual amount,” he said.
KPK officials also explained why they were taking such a long time with the case, which is still in the preliminary investigation phase.
“It’s not as easy to investigate as it seems,” Abraham said.
“We still need more time to complement the data that have already been gathered by the KPK.”
The case involves officials at the highest levels of government, including Anas Urbaningrum, the chairman of the ruling Democratic Party.
Although Anas’s name has been mentioned by several officials who have been implicated in the scandal, including Muhammad Nazaruddin, the former Democratic Party treasurer who was convicted earlier this year in a similar bid-rigging case, the chairman has not been summoned for questioning by the KPK.
KPK deputy chairman Zulkarnain has denied that his office was delaying questioning Anas because of political pressure, saying it was just a matter of time before the KPK was ready to press forward with questioning him.
“We’re only concerned about how we can uphold justice,” he said recently.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the commission had not set a date for questioning Anas.
“There’s no problem. It’s just a matter of getting the timing right,” he said.
Besides Anas, Nazaruddin pointed the finger at Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng, who he said took Rp 20 billion ($2.1 million) from Adhi Karya, the state-run construction company that won the main contract. He also alleged Anas took Rp 100 billion for rigging the entire tender process. Andi and Anas have denied the claims.
The KPK has questioned more than 50 people in the Hambalang case, including Adhi Karya executives, National Land Agency (BPN) chief Joyo Winoto, Democratic Party politician Ignatius Mulyono and Anas’ wife, Athiyyah Laila, the former commissioner of Dutasari Citralaras, a subcontractor for Adhi Karya.
The public dialogue surrounding the case has been marked by conflicting accounts of what actually happened.
One of the biggest questions is who approved the funding for the project, which amounted to almost Rp 1.2 trillion.
On Sunday, Taslim Chaniago, a legislator from the National Mandate Party (PAN), refuted claims by the House of Representatives that it never signed off on the funding.
Taslim said the Sports Ministry would only have received the money if legislators on House Commission X, which oversees sports affairs, and the House Budget Committee had agreed to forward their approval for funding to the Finance Ministry.
His remarks came in response to claims by members of Commission X that they never approved the funding, despite reports that they had signed off on Rp 1.18 trillion. Of that amount, Rp 688 billion has been disbursed.
The Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) previously said it was common practice at the House that go-aheads for such fund allocations be given by a handful of legislators in the relevant commissions and by the House Budget Committee.
Fitra investigation coordinator Uchok Sky Khadafi said that many requests by ministries for the disbursement of funds were decided only by the leaders of the oversight commissions and the Budget Committee.