Democratic Party Defensive Over Anas’s Bribery Accusations
Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Robertus Wardi
Senior Democratic Party officials went on the defensive on Wednesday, refuting allegations made by the party’s former chairman who accused them of receiving bribe money linked to a high-profile graft scandal.
Anas Urbaningrum, who resigned as chairman last week following a Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) decision to name him as a suspect in a bribery case linked to the construction of the Hambalang sports stadium, made the allegations during an interview with television station RCTI on Wednesday morning.
In the interview, Anas said that he participated in a July 2011 meeting with senior Democratic Party politician Amir Syamsuddin and then-party treasurer Muhammad Nazarrudin, who at the time was still being investigated by the KPK for another bribery case.
Nazarrudin was the first to divulge that bidding for the Hambalang project had been rigged and that several Democrats had been bribed to overlook that fact, including Anas.
Amir, Anas said, wanted to verify Nazarrudin’s allegation. According to Anas, at the meeting Nazarrudin presented Amir with a list of names whom he claimed to be recipients of bribe money linked to Hambalang.
Anas, however, refused to divulge the names, which he said are in the dozens, but said that Nazarrudin once threatened President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the party’s founder.
The threat, Anas said in the interview, happened during a meeting at Yudhoyono’s home. According to Anas, at the meeting Nazarrudin threatened to bring down his son Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, also known as Ibas, if the president failed to protect him from the graft case.
The president, Anas said, was so enraged by Nazarrudin’s threat that he slammed his fist on the table in front of Nazarrudin.
“I only participated in the meeting and listened. So, it is better to ask Amir. But if Amir refuses to provide details [of the list] then I would,” he said in the interview.
Amir, who has since been named as the justice and human rights minister in the cabinet, admitted that the meeting occurred but denied that a list was ever presented.
“The meeting was Anas’s initiative. Nazarrudin, at the time, was being questioned by [the party’s] Honors Council. [At the meeting, Anas] asked Nazarrudin to step down. So, it is not like” what Anas mentioned in the interview, the minister said. “I am confused how can Anas say things about Ibas.”
Suara Pembaruan, the Jakarta Globe’s sister publication, on Wednesday obtained the list that Anas described in the interview. The list was reportedly prepared by Nazarrudin’s right-hand woman Yulianis.
Among the names listed in the document is the party’s secretary-general and the president’s youngest son Edhie. The dossier suggests that Edhie received $900,000 in four stages in late April 2010.
The money, the document says, was delivered to Edhie personally by Bahri, a courier of Nazarrudin’s company Anugerah Nusantara.
Edhie denied receiving money tied to Hambalang. “The allegation is not true and baseless. I guarantee 1,000 percent that I never received money from the case,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I have so much respect for Anas and I hope he would just focus on the legal case he is facing and not create more problems. I hope that the case be unraveled and lets all provide the opportunity for the KPK and the court to solve the case fairly and transparently,” he continued.
KPK chairman Abraham Samad said that his office had not received the list from Nazarrudin, as Anas had claimed during the interview.