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Minister Suswono meets antigraft body`s summons JAKARTA - Agriculture Minister Suswono met the summons of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to be grilled as a witness in a beef import scandal on Thursday. "KPK invited me for questioning as a witness for four suspects in the beef import scandal," the minister said when he arrived at the KPK building at 10 am on Thursday.

The suspects in the scandal were Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq (LHI), Ahmad Fathanah (AF), Juard Effendi and Arya Abdi Effendi. Luthfi is the former president of the Prosperous Justice Party PKS, Ahmad Fathanah is Luthfi`s close friend while Juard Effendi and Arya Abdi Effendi (both are directors of beef importer PT Indoguna Utama)

Minister Suswono who has also previously been questioned by the antigraft body in the same case said he did not have new data to share with the KPK. "I do not know yet. Please wait until the end of the questioning," the minister said.

Suswono is a PKS cadre and was grilled by the KPK on Monday, February 18, 2013. During the first questioning the minister admitted he once had a meeting with Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq in Medan, North Sumatra, in January 2013.

"In essence, I have told the KPK the fact as what I once explained. I am not involved at all in the case of the four suspects. The case has no link with me," Minister Suswono said.

Luthfi`s lawyer Mohammad Assegaf admitted his client once had a discussion with Minister Suswono, Ahmad Fathanah, Maria Elisabeth Liman (president director of PT Indoguna Utama) and Elda Devianne Adiningrat (former general chairman of the Indonesian Seeds Association) to discuss the quota of beef import in January 2013.

The discussion in Medan, according to Assegaf, was initiated by Elisabeth who at that time represented a meat association to discuss data on beef import quota because the data in her hand were different from data at the ministry of agriculture. Elisabeth asked for a meeting with Suswono to have data comparison.

The KPK has named suspects and arrested Juard Effendi, Arya Abdi Effendi (both are directors of beef importer PT Indoguna Utama), Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq (a lawmaker and president of the Prosperous Justice Party /PKS) and his close friend Ahmad Fathanah.

The anti-graft body also confiscated as evidence a cash of Rp1 billion, put in black crinkle paper bag. The money was a down payment of a commitment fee worth Rp40 billion pledged for the issuance of a permit to import 8,000 tons of beef by PT Indoguna Utama.

Juard dan Arya were arrested by the KPK on Tuesday (Jan 29) at Arya`s house in Cakung, East Jakarta after handing over Rp1 billion to Ahmad Fathanah at the PT Indoguna Utama building. Ahmad Fathanah himself was arrested at Le Meredien Hotel in Jakarta.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said KPK had evidence the money was to be given to Luthfi, who denied the allegation. Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq officially announced his resignation two days after his arrest on graft charges.

In a press conference Luthfi said," it is part of political struggle. PKS must continue to grow with or without me." "I am just facing a legal case and I would certainly need time to follow the process to prove whether or not I am guilty and this problem will be part of PKS` struggle," he said.


Related blog entries (category 'Corruption') Related blog entries (category 'Corruption'):
13 March 2013 · Police general allegedly involved in money laundering
06 March 2013 · KPK: 'Anas may be charged with money laundering'
28 February 2013 · KPK questions four lawmakers linked to simulator graft case
26 February 2013 · House possibly owned by corruption suspect confiscated
22 February 2013 · Ruling party`s chief named suspect over corruption
18 February 2013 · Minister Suswono questioned as witness at KPK

Related blog entries (category 'Corruption') Tags: Agriculture, minister, Suswono, summons, investigation


Posted in Corruption @ 14 March 2013 13:17 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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