Jakarta. Police questioned House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto on Thursday (23/11) and refuted rumors that last week's car accident involving the politician was staged.
The accident, which police said caused injuries to Setya's head, took place when he was apparently trying to evade arrest by antigraft investigators.
Setya was immediately admitted to hospital but investigators brought him just three days later to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detention center.
Thursday's questioning at the KPK headquarters corroborated a provisional conclusion that the accident was indeed a "pure accident," said Jakarta Police traffic director Sr. Comr. Halim Pagarra.
"Based on the traffic accident analysis ... we can't say that it was deliberately arranged. It remains a pure accident ... but we will solicit more information," Halim told reporters after the questioning.
Investigations found that inside the car were Setya's aide and a freelance journalist for Metro TV, Hilman Mattauch. Setya was sitting in the backseat when the car driven by Hilman crashed into a power pole. Police have charged Hilman with careless driving.
"He was on his mobile phone and turned back at that moment. He lost control and the car crashed into the sidewalk," Halim said.
The car was moving at a speed of 50 kilometers per hour before crashing into the sidewalk, 38 kilometers per hour before crashing into a tree, and 21 kilometers per hour before crashing into the power pole.
"His [Setya] head hit the left window ... he lost consciousness," Halim said.
Setya was nowhere to be found a day before the accident, when KPK investigators attempted to arrest him at his residence. Rumors emerged that Hilman helped him evade the arrest.
The non-active Golkar Party chairman is accused of siphoning off Rp 574 billion ($42.5 million) from the Rp 5.9 trillion e-KTP project that has resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion in state losses.