Indonesia, PNG Hope to Meet Over Returning Graft Fugitive
Officials from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea hope to schedule a meeting in which the return of graft fugitive Djoko Tjandra will be the topic of conversation.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa confirmed the Indonesian government’s interest in such a meeting while discussing a letter sent by the neighboring country.
“We will [respond] immediately,” Marty said at President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s residence in Cikeas, Bogor, on Saturday.
Marty said his ministry was coordinating with the Attorney General’s Office to bring Djoko home.
“We [handle] the diplomacy side for whatever the Attorney General’s Office needs in this effort,” he added.
Deputy Attorney General Darmono received a letter from the Papua New Guinea government which responded to the letter that Indonesia had sent to confirm news about Djoko’s whereabouts and his citizenship status.
Darmono said the neighboring government was reviewing its decision to grant Djoko citizenship and that he hoped to discuss Djoko’s return soon.
Former Justice Minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra denied reports that he helped the graft fugitive obtain PNG citizenship.
The veteran lawyer said he was shocked at recent allegations identifying him as the person who helped Djoko win approval for naturalization in June.
“It’s been said that I gave false testimony about Djoko’s legal status in order to help him get citizenship there,” he said. “These reports are all fabricated and not based on any facts whatsoever.”
Yusril also ridiculed the notion that his recommendation would have been enough to convince officials in Port Moresby to grant Djoko citizenship.
“How could anything I say trump the Indonesian government’s law enforcement, security and diplomatic authorities? Would the PNG government believe me over Jakarta?” he said.
Djoko fled Indonesia on June 10, 2009, one day before he was convicted by the Supreme Court of embezzling Rp 546 billion ($58 million) in bailout funds meant for his troubled bank.