Buol Palm Oil Bribery Case Progressing: KPK
Corruption Eradication Commission investigators have completed the dossiers of two suspects in a bribery case for the rights to expand palm oil operations in Buol district, Central Sulawesi.
Johan Budi, the spokesman for the antigraft body known as KPK, said that the dossiers for Gondo Sudjono and Yani Anshori will be given to prosecutors.
The KPK has also officially named tycoon Siti Hartati Cakra Murdaya Poo as a suspect in the case.
KPK chairman Abraham Samad said that Hartati, as the president director of Cipta Cakra Murdaya and Hardaya Inti Plantations, gave Buol district head Amran Batalipu Rp 3 billion ($315,000) in bribes.
“The bribery was related to the land concessions needed to extend the palm oil plantations owned by PT CCM and HIP in Buol district,” Abraham said.
The bribes were allegedly given in two stages, with Rp 1 billion being disbursed on June 18, and Rp 2 billion on June 26.
Hartati is believed to have ordered Yani Anshori, general manager of HIP, to pay the Rp 3 billion in bribes to Amran for the land concessions.
The KPK claimed it had a recording of Hartati’s phone conversations that suggested her involvement.
The antigraft body has questioned Hartati twice about the alleged bribery. She was underwent about 25 hours of questioning in total during the two sessions.
Hartati has denied the charges, instead accusing Amran of extorting money from her companies.
Amran’s lawyer, however, claims that Hartati also bribed other people who were candidates for district chief.
The Democratic Party has pledged to emphasize the importance of ethics among its members following the resignation of Hartati, a key patron and benefactor who quit to focus on the investigation.
Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, the party’s secretary general, said on Tuesday that he was “devastated” by the revelations leading to Hartati being named as a bribery suspect.
“I am saddened by this and will continue to remind all Democratic Party members to conform to the ethical standards set by the party,” he said.
“Each of our members is obliged to act ethically in politics and conform to the Democratic Party teachings of being clean, smart and polite.”
Hayono Isman, a member of the party’s board of patrons, said the businesswoman should be lauded for voluntarily stepping down from the party.