Jakarta. Corruption Eradication Commission investigators have named House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto a suspect in a graft case related to the procurement of electronic identity cards, or e-KTP, a commissioner said on Monday (17/07).
The move comes amid an ongoing court trial against former Home Ministry officials, Irman and Sugiharto, for whom prosecutors in June demanded prison sentences of seven and five years for alleged embezzlement of the e-KTP project funds.
"Having analyzed facts in the trial against the two defendants over the graft case involving the 2011-12 e-KTP project under the Home Ministry, we found sufficient initial evidence to name another person a suspect," Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Agus Rahardjo told the press at his office in Jakarta.
Referring to Setya, he said: "We have named House member S.N. a suspect for alleged misuse of authority, which reportedly resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion ($172.57 million) state losses."
Setya, also the chairman of the Golkar Party, may face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of Rp 1 billion, if found guilty.
The prosecutors' indictment against Irman and Sugiharto during the first session of their trial in March, revealed Setya's possible involvement in the e-KPT graft case. According to KPK, other lawmakers and top government officials may be charged as well.
"S.N., alongside A.A., is suspected of playing a role in planning and procurement," Agus said, referring to Andi Agustinus, a businessman who in March was also named a suspect in the Rp 5.9 trillion project graft case.
Monday's announcement comes amid an ongoing House inquiry into the KPK — initiated in April and partly triggered by the e-KTP investigation — a move widely seen as a maneuver to weaken the antigraft agency. The inquiry has set off widespread public opposition against the legislature.