02/02/2011, 00.00
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Dozens of arrests in case involving a former central bank senior deputy governor

by Mathias Hariyadi
Bribes worth US$ 2.7 million were handed out in 2004 to secure the reappointment of Miranda Swaray Goelton. At present, the former senior deputy governor is not under investigation. Some 26 politicians, including former members of parliament and a minister, are implicated in the case. Politicians and the anti-corruption commission are increasingly at loggerheads.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Unfazed by political threats coming from parliament, Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is pressing on in its investigation into a bribery case involving the re-appointment of  Miranda Swaray Goeltom as a senior deputy governor of the Bank of Indonesia. Dozens of members of parliament and a former minister are under investigation over allegations of bribery worth 24 billion rupiahs (US$ 2.7 million). Despite attempts at a cover-up, they were arrested.

The latest politicians to be charge are Budiningsih, Williem Tutuarima and Rusman Lumbantoruan, from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). They are suspected of receiving kickbacks from Ms Goeltom, who currently is not under investigation.

A few days ago, police also took into custody former National Planning Board Minister Paskah Suzetta, from the Golkar Party, and Panda Nababan and Max Moein, both from the PDI-P, as well as 17 other former politicians who are now at the disposal of the KPK.

KPK spokesperson Johan Budi said that the commission was hopeful that all 26 suspects would be end up in prison for their involvement in the multimillion-dollar scandal.

The whole thing came to light following the confession of former PDI-P Member of Parliament Agus Condro Prayitno. The inquiry that followed brought the KPK in direct confrontation with Indonesia’s political class, which accuses prosecutors of subversion.

In his testimony, Condro said that lawmakers received money to secure Goeltom’s reappointment to the central bank.

Unlike the main parties involved in the investigation, Golkar and the PDI-P of former President Megawati, which slam the commission, civil society groups have called instead for a harsher crackdown against graft and corruption.

Recently, more than a hundred activists, human rights promoters, actors, intellectuals and political analysts have called for respect of the rule of law and transparency in politics and government.

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