Indonesia Asks Papua New Guinea to Send Graft Convict Djoko Tjandra Packing

By webadmin on 03:11 pm Jul 17, 2012
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Rangga Prakoso

Indonesia has requested that graft fugitive Djoko Tjandra’s Papua New Guinean citizenship be revoked, saying that the businessman falsified immigration documents when escaping to the country.

Deputy Attorney General Darmono said on Monday that Peter Ilau, PNG’s ambassador in Jakarta, told him during their meeting on Sunday that his government would evaluate Djoko’s status.

“To become a citizen of a country, people should be free from legal problems. We believe that Djoko has falsified his data to hide his status as a graft convict. He should be deported because of that,” Darmono said.

Papua New Guinean authorities decided to grant citizenship to Djoko last month. They reportedly announced that he was cleared of the graft charges.

“We have given all of the evidence we have to prove he is a graft convict in Indonesia. I think there should be no more reason for Papua New Guinea to keep his citizenship,” Darmono said.

Djoko was among several foreigners who received a certificate of citizenship last month by the Immigration and Citizenship Advisory Committee of Papua New Guinea.

PNG’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Ano Pala said he agreed with Djoko’s request, based on the recommendation of the committee.

“He was not a fugitive, not a criminal. He never faced a civil law suit — he was not convicted of a criminal offense, according to information we got from our High Commissioner,” Pala said in an interview with Radio Australia.

“The information was forwarded to the advisory committee and on the basis of their recommendations, [a person can be] handed citizenship.”

Djoko faces a two-year prison sentence and a fine of Rp 15 million for his role in the scandal, which involved his now-defunct Bank Bali paying a $70 million “commission” to Era Giat Prima, one of Djoko’s companies, which was linked to the then-ruling Golkar Party, for help in the recovery of loans owed by the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency.

While witnesses have suggested Golkar Party treasurer Setya Novanto received kickbacks in the case, no formal allegations have been leveled against him since the scandal emerged.

Djoko is reportedly wanted by Interpol after he fled Indonesia in 2009, hours before the Supreme Court convicted him of embezzling Rp 586 billion ($62 million).

In 1999, Djoko’s company Era Giat Prima purchased several of Bank Bali’s loans as the now-defunct bank was on the verge of collapse.