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Indonesian Government Officials Told Not to Meddle in Edhy Prabowo’s Corruption Case

November 30, 2020, 09.00 PM

JAKARTA, – Indonesian government officials have been advised to stay out of the corruption case involving then-Fisheries Minister, Edhy Prabowo.

The advice offered by Researcher of the Center for Anti-Corruption Studies at Gadjah Mada University, Zaenur Rohman, comes after Luhut Pandjaitan asked the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to not go overboard in investigating Edhy Prabowo’s case.

Zaenur asserts that an Indonesian government official is not to be involved in the law enforcement aspect carried out by the KPK.

“I find Luhut’s statement inappropriate because the government is not supposed to meddle in law enforcement measures done by the KPK which in this case is about investigation matters.”

Read also: Indonesian Minister Edhy Prabowo Arrested Over Lobster Seed Export

For Zaenur, Luhut Panjaitan’s additional role as the ad interim Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries should see him offer his utmost support to the KPK in completing their findings into the Edhy Prabowo case.

One way that Luhut could have approached the situation is to direct civil servants of Indonesia’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to assist with investigators of the case until the process is completed.

“Luhut could have also extended his support as the ad interim minister to ask all parties to respect the law and justice system that is implemented by the KPK and to not block any proceedings that are currently being undertaken.”

Read also: KPK Demands 10 Year Sentence For Disgraced Former Minister

Zaenur is confident that the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission will sentence the now-former Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister professional and proportionally.

Should there be any violations in the investigation process, Edhy Prabowo can file a report to the KPK’s Monitoring Body or request a pre-trial to test whether his conviction is legal or not.

Luhut Pandjaitan is the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment and has come under fire for a statement he made on Friday, Nov. 27.

Read also: Indonesia Looks to Revive Lobster Exports

“I have asked the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission to look into the case based on good terms and not to overdo it. That’s all that I’ve asked. Not everybody is bad as there are plenty of good people,” stated Luhut.

Background of the Corruption Scandal

The corruption scandal that brought down the former minister involves kickbacks on lobster seed export licensing matters.

Edhy is believed to have accepted bribes for lobster seed exports totaling $100,000 or Rp 3.4 billion via the company, PT Aero Citra Cargo.

The company has allegedly been accepting kickbacks from various lobster larvae exporting companies as it is the only firm that can handle the matter. PT Aero Citra Cargo was found to charge Rp 1,800 per lobster.

Read also: Political Corruption in Indonesia Hampers Optimal Good Governance

Based on information from KPK Deputy Head, Nawawi Pomolango, PT Aero Citra Cargo is owned by Amri and Ahmad Bahtiar who were nominated by Edhy Prabowo and Yudi Surya Atmaja.

“The money which flowed to the company’s bank accounts is believed to be from various lobster seed exporting companies. That money was then moved to the personal bank accounts of Amri and Ahmad Bahtiar, each amount totaling Rp 9.8 billion,” stated Nawawi.

(Writer: Ardito Ramadhan | Editor: Krisiandi)



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