Jailed Whistleblower in Djoko Case Fears for His Life
Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Rizky Amelia
Since late last month, Bambang Soekotjo has not touched the food provided by the Kebon Waru penitentiary, where he is now serving a three-year, 10-month jail sentence.
Bambang was found guilty by the West Java High Court on July 28 of providing Rp 2 billion ($212,000) in bribes to Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo in 2011.
The payoff was made so Bambang’s company, Inovasi Teknologi Indonesia, and partner firm Citra Mandiri Metalindo Abadi would be selected as providers of 1,200 driving simulators to the National Police Traffic Corps.
Djoko was the head of the traffic corps at the time.
Bambang was enraged to learn that Djoko and Budi Santoso, the head of Citra, had eluded justice. He reported the case to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which immediately charged Djoko and Budi with graft.
Bambang’s lawyer, Erick S. Faat, said his client’s decision to blow the lid off the case had earned him constant death threats — even behind bars.
“I have warned to only drink tap water if he is thirsty and only eat what his family is providing him,” Erick said.
The lawyer said his client was shocked one day to receive a lavish meal from prison officials.
“It was satay and a can of Pocari Sweat, but on them were written the article [Bambang] had violated,” Erick said. “A threat was made on his life. We are asking for protection.”
The lawyer added that Bambang had also been assaulted by police officers.
“My client was beaten. The incident occurred on July 4 at Bambang’s office in Bandung,” Erick said, identifying the attacker as Adj. Sr. Comr. Teddy Rusmawan, who oversaw the procurement project and was also named as a suspect in the case.
Teddy, the lawyer said, took off his sandal and slapped Bambang’s face with it three times. A group of police officers later ransacked Bambang’s office and confiscated documents which could tie the case to Djoko and Budi.
But, Erick said, Bambang had the last laugh as the whole incident was recorded by a security camera. The tape is now in the hands of the KPK.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi said that aside from the Rp 2 billion bribery allegedly provided by Budi and Bambang to Djoko, the companies awarded the project had also inflated the budget for the simulators by Rp 35 million each.
Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) lawmaker Martin Hutabarat said the KPK should also question graft convict Muhammad Nazaruddin, a former member of the House of Representatives Budget Committee.
“Nazaruddin told me that he knew firsthand [about the case] during his time at the Banggar,” Martin said.
Nazaruddin has been sentenced to four and a half years for receiving Rp 4.8 billion in bribes and rigging the bidding process for the construction of the athletes’ village for last year’s Southeast Asian Games. The former Democratic Party treasurer is also under investigation for other bid-rigging cases.
Martin said it was likely that Nazaruddin rigged the tender for the simulator project, adding that two of Nazruddin’s companies also put in bids.
Uchok Sky Khadafi from the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) said the tender was conducted between January and February of last year and Citra won. But the actual work was sub-contracted to Inovasi.
Inovasi, he said, could have trouble delivering the simulators because the majority of the budget was used to provide bribes.