Jakarta, new corruption scandal overwhelms Audit Agency’s Chief
Jakarta (AsiaNews ) - A new corruption scandal has engulfed Indonesian politics and civil society, already marked by controversial cases in the recent past that have touched even the highest institutional and administrative spheres of the country. The Anti-corruption commission (KPK) has targeted Hadi Poernono, the current head of the Court of Auditors of Indonesia (BKP), for a story that dates back to the 2002-2004 biennium when he was director of the Department of Taxation and the Treasury. In a press release issued last night, the KPK confirmed the opening of an investigation for a scandal of " huge " proportions . Poernomo is a high profile personality in Indonesia's economic and financial world, with a power and social status is equal to that of ministers or other senior government officials.
The KPK chief, Abraham Samad confirmed that his team have had Hadi Poernono under surveillance for over a year. Investigators have collected evidence to prove he caused "serious economic damage" to the country . There is talk of a figure of around 375 billion rupees (more than $ 32.5 million) in a legal matter involving the main private bank in Indonesia , PT BCA , owned by PT Djarum, the nation's second largest tobacco company.
The tobacco giants are among the biggest taxpayers in the nation and the owners of PT Djarum , in particular, are included in the special list of the richest men in Indonesia , both at home and on a regional scale . The charges center on a billion dollar transaction with a 32 million dollar taxation bill that the top of the bank should have paid into state coffers.
However, the intervention of an "invisible hand " - on orders from the Department then led by Hadi Poernono , allegedly the architect of the operation - led to the cancellation of debt. "Hadi has given the green light to the proceedings in July 2004, " said Abraham Samad , KPK head, erasing " the debt that would have been payable by the PT BCA".
Over the past three years, the Anti-Corruption Commission has carried out a series of successful operations across the country, bringing down high profile public figures in sensational cases of corruption that have involved various sectors including the justice system, politics and the economy. Their victims include a prominent minister of the Executive Board and the President of the Constitutional Court , the oil scandal and intrigues that led to the re-election of former Governor of the Central Bank . Moreover, the issue of corruption will be one of the key issues in the general elections in April and presidential elections in October.