Graft Agency Looks to Charge House Speaker Again After 'Suspect' Status Dropped

House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto is set to be questioned as a suspect on Wednesday (15/11) in a high-profile graft case surrounding the procurement of electronic identity cards, known as e-KTP, an antigraft official said on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/Makna Zaezar)

By : Fana Suparman | on 3:12 PM October 06, 2017
Category : News, Corruption

Jakarta. Antigraft commissioners have hinted that they are "slowly" targeting House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto, who was recently acquitted of corruption charges, in a graft into the procurement of national electronic identity cards, or e-KTP.

Last week, Novanto's  suspect status in the case, which resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion ($170 million) in state losses, was dropped in a much-criticized pretrial ruling.

But anticorruption investigators will not back down in their probe into the Rp 5.9 trillion project, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) official Saut Situmorang insisted on Thursday (06/10).

"The principle is that we won't stop. It must continue because we're paid for this," Saut told reporters at his office in Jakarta.

"We're now thoroughly considering what will be our next moves. We must be slow and prudent."

Earlier this week, a six-month travel ban that was imposed on Novanto in April was extended for another six months, which means KPK investigators are still intending to summon the speaker as witness in the case.

Novanto failed to meet two KPK summons since being named a graft suspect in July, citing health issues. Earlier this week, he eventually came out of hospital after about two weeks of treatment.

"So if he is already healthy, it is hoped that he can attend if summoned," KPK commissioner Laode M. Syarif said.

Novanto, also chairman of Indonesia's second-largest political party Golkar, was accused of receiving about Rp 574 billion from the government project that began in 2011. He could have faced up to 20 years in jail if found guilty.

But Novanto, who has denied any wrongdoing, filed a pretrial motion with the court last month.

Last week, the naming of Novanto as graft suspect was declared procedurally flawed by a judge who was eventually reported by antigraft activists to the Supreme Court on Thursday over alleged ethical violations.

KPK officials have been studying the pretrial ruling, commissioner Saut said. "We're evaluating where the loopholes were and will settle them."

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