KPK Could Freeze Andi’s Assets, Laundering Charges Loom

By webadmin on 11:06 am Dec 10, 2012
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Rizky Amelia

Antigraft investigators are considering freezing the assets and bank accounts of former Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng, who resigned last week after being named a suspect in a major corruption case.

Bambang Widjojanto, a deputy chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), said on Sunday that there was a possibility that his office would order a freeze of the senior Democratic Party official’s assets as part of the ongoing probe into bid-rigging and embezzlement allegations in the Hambalang sports center project.

“All steps deemed by the investigators to be necessary in guaranteeing that the investigation proceeds smoothly will be taken,” he said on the sidelines of an event in Jakarta to mark International Anti-Corruption Day.

“As part of our investigative process, we have always tried to determine whether a suspect’s assets [are the result of corruption].”

Bambang also said that the KPK could press charges of money-laundering against Andi, who currently faces corruption charges carrying a minimum prison sentence of four years and maximum of 20 years.

The KPK only began charging suspects under the 2010 Anti-Money-Laundering Law this year, which has allowed it to win longer sentences because of the law’s lack of a stated minimum sentence for money-laundering.

“We might do as we did in the Wa Ode Nurhayati case, and combine the corruption charges with the money-laundering charges, but we haven’t reached that stage yet to make that decision,” Bambang said.

Wa Ode, a former National Mandate Party (PAN) legislator, got six years in prison in October in a budget-fixing case in which she was also proved to have laundered up to Rp 50.5 billion ($5.25 million) through her bank accounts.

The money-laundering claims against Andi date back to May this year when Muhammad Nazaruddin, the former Democratic Party treasurer convicted of bid-rigging in another project administered by the Sports Ministry, alleged that Andi took a bribe from Hambalang-winning contractor Adhi Karya through his brother, Zulkarnaen “Choel” Mallarangeng. Choel is still being treated in the Hambalang case as a witness, although the KPK has ordered a travel ban against him, indicating that it might yet name him a suspect.

Abraham Samad, the KPK chairman, said that investigators would begin questioning witnesses against Andi tomorrow.