A trio of high-profile Indonesian graft figures, Muhammad Nazaruddin, Mindo Rosalina Manulang and Angelina Sondakh, were not only taking kickbacks for Sports Ministry projects, but also allegedly tried to get kickbacks in a laboratory facilities procurement project.
The rector of the Bogor Agriculture Institute (IPB), Herry Suhardiyanto, told his lawyer that Nazaruddin, a graft convict in the construction of a now-infamous athletes village project in Palembang, had also offered to provide laboratory equipment needed by IPB.
“Before the project for laboratory equipment was carried out, the rector was visited by Nazaruddin,” Nazaruddin Lubis, Herry’s lawyer, said on Thursday. “[He] said he would help [Herry] in the procurement of laboratory equipment.”
Lubis said that Nazaruddin told Herry that there had been a budget allocation for IPB’s laboratory project worth Rp 40 billion ($4.2 million). Nazaruddin, who allegedly made a personal visit to the rector, said that he could help Herry to get the project approved.
Lubis said that after the visit, Nazaruddin’s staffer Rosalina also met with Herry. She offered him “something” as a kickback to award a certain company the laboratory equipment contract.
Herry refused the request, pledging to follow the proper tender mechanism as regulated by the Higher Education Directorate General of the Education Ministry, his lawyer said.
“Rosa often came after that, but she was turned down,” Lubis said. “She told my client that ‘the rector of IPB is stubborn.’ ”
Lubis denied the allegation that his client had also communicated with Angelina, a graft suspect in the IPB procurement project.
“In this case, Nazaruddin planted the seed, Rosa [Rosalina] did the gardening and Angie [Angelina] harvested it,” Lubis said.
However, that denial was contradicted by Herry’s other lawyer, M. Irham, who said Angelina had also offered the laboratory equipment project to his client.
“The rector was once visited by Angie,” Irham said.
Herry was questioned by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Thursday as a witness against Angelina in the case. Besides being named as a suspect for receiving a kickback in the Nazaruddin athletes village scandal, Angelina was also named a suspect for taking bribes to help the budget approval at the House of Representatives for several universities’ facilities projects, a program under the Ministry of Education and Cultural.
The KPK found 16 suspicious financial transactions to Angelina worth Rp 600 billion, allegedly graft-tainted funds from the universities’ projects.