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Former minister questioned by anti-graft agency as witness JAKARTA - Former minister of forestry MS Kaban here, Thursday, was questioned as a witness by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in connection with the corruption case of Integrated Radio Communication System (SKRT) project in his ministry in 2006-2007.

"This is a legal process and I am being questioned as a witness for Anggoro (suspect) in connection with the extension of money to some parliament members. That is all," Kaban said upon arrival at the KPK building.

MS Kaban, who is currently also the General Chairman of the Moon and Star Party (PBB), was the minister of forestry when the SKRT project was being carried out; he had been banned from travelling abroad since February 11.

"Regarding the direct appointment issue", he stated," it was a mere state administration. What is important is that there was no intention to enrich oneself. It was merely aimed at implementing state duty due to time constraints and, it was also allowed by the law and the presidential regulation. And what was the most important of all, was maintaining the countrys relations with the US government," he explained.

Kaban pointed out that the project was a cooperation effort between the Indonesian and US governments since the late president Soeharto era, extended later by the late president Abdurrahman Wahid and President Bill Clinton.

"In 2004, it was stopped because between 1999-2004 the regional office of the ministry of forestry was dissolved and replaced by forestry service. So, no central or regional agencies managed the state assets. Only after the unity cabinet was established and the situation was stable, could all the assets be taken to the central management," he remarked.

Regarding the ban on his former driver from travelling abroad, Kaban added that it was all right. "He is indeed close to me," he added. Kaban denied that he knew that money worth US$20,000 had been received by his then Secretary General, Boen Mochtar Purnama. "I never know about it. I have already denied any knowledge on it in a court session. Did he ever report it? Never," he retorted.

Anggoro, the President Director of PT Masaro Radiokom and suspect, who had paid bribes to a number of parliament members in the Commission IV to win the project, was caught in Shenzhen, China, on January 29 and had arrived in the country on January 30 after being at large before.

The SKRT project had actually been halted when M Prakoso was minister of forestry. But it was taken over by MS Kaban, allegedly because of Anggoros efforts.

Commission IV finally met Anggoros request to continue the project worth Rp180 billion through its recommendation dated on February 12, 2007, using the forestry ministrys budget, while the budget had actually been allocated for a forest and land rehabilitation and reforestation program.

Several parliament members of the Commission IV had been convicted and imprisoned, including Commission IV chairman Yusuf Erwin Faisal who was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment with a fine of Rp250 million, commission members Azwar Chesutra and Hilman Indra from the Moon and Star Party and AM Fahri from Golkar Party who were each sentenced to four years in jail with a fin of Rp200 million.

A forestry ministry official had also been convicted in connection with the case namely former head of the ministrys finance and planning bureau, Wandoyo Siswanto, who was sentenced to three years in jail and fined Rp100 million. PT Masaro Radiocoms Director Putranevo A Prayuga, meanwhile, has been sent to jail for six years with a fine of Rp200 million.

During a court session the secretary general of the ministry of forestry, Boen Mochtar Purnama, had admitted to have received US$20 thousand from Anggoro upon the approval of then minister MS Kaban.


Related blog entries (category 'Corruption') Related blog entries (category 'Corruption'):
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18 February 2014 · Hong Kong grants Indonesia request over Century assets
17 February 2014 · BPK: 'Preliminary investigation of Vietnam rice in March'
31 January 2014 · Anggoro Widjojo questioned at KPK upon arrival
30 January 2014 · KPK arrests corruption fugitive Anggoro Widjojo
29 January 2014 · KPK questions Anas again as suspect in bribery case

Related blog entries (category 'Corruption') Tags: former, Minister, Kaban, KPK, investigation, summons


Posted in Corruption @ 27 February 2014 16:13 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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