JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named a top Indonesian lawmaker Azis Syamsuddin as a suspect in a bribery case on Saturday, September 25.
The House of Representatives deputy speaker has allegedly bribed anti-corruption investigator Stepanus Robin Pattuju in an attempt to drop an investigation into allegations of funding case corruption in Central Lampung in Sumatra’s Lampung province.
“The KPK carried out an investigation which was later found to have sufficient initial evidence. The KPK raised the status of investigation against deputy speaker AZ [Azis Syamsuddin],” KPK chairman Firli Bahuri told a press conference in Jakarta on early Saturday.
Firli explained that the lawmaker contacted the KPK investigator in August 2020 intending to drop the graft investigation that could drag him and another Golkar Party cadre, Aliza Gunado. The KPK is currently investigating the matter.
The KPK investigator contacted a lawyer namely Maskur Husain to handle the case. Furthermore, Maskur told Azis and Aliza to prepare two billion rupiahs ($140,000), respectively. The KPK investigator also directly contacted Azis for the money, which was then approved. Azis transferred the money to Maskur’s bank account in stages.
The disgraced investigator has now been removed from his post after being a suspect in alleged corruption cases.
Still in August last year, Stepanus Robin allegedly met Azis at his official residence in South Jakarta to receive another payment in a form of cash. The payment was given in stages, comprising $100,000, as well as S$17,600 and S$140,500, respectively.
“SRP and MH then went to a money changer to exchange the foreign currencies into rupiah by using ID cards of other parties,” the KPK chairman said.
“AZ only paid 3.1 billion rupiahs ($217,000) out of four billion rupiahs ($280,000) he has promised to SRP and MH,” Firli said.
Use of force during an arrest
The police used force during the arrest at Azis’ house on Friday night, September 24. The deputy speaker was scheduled to be examined on Friday. However, he failed to show up as he was still undergoing self-isolation because he had interacted with a person who contracted the Covid-19.
KPK chairman said Azis was asked to undergo an antigen test and he had a negative test result for Covid-19. The KPK officials then immediately brought him to the KPK building for further investigation before he was finally detained.
Azis was charged under Article 5, paragraph (1) letter a or Article 5 paragraph (1) letter a or b or Article 13 of the Law of the Republic of Indonesia No. 31/1999 on the Eradication of Criminal Act of Corruption.
(Writer: Irfan Kamil | Editor: Krisiandi)
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