Antasari Lawyers Question Rani’s Account of Hotel Trysts

Golf caddie Rani Juliani testified on Thursday to having a sexual relationship with former Indonesia anti-corruption czar Antasari Azhar. Rani gave her testimony in a closed-door session at Antisari's trial for allegedly ordering the murder of her husband in March. The audio and video systems at the South Jakarta District Court were shut off, but journalists and visitors could watch Rani testifying through glass windows inside the packed courthouse. After struggling with police escorts to navigate a mob of photographers, the 23-year-old entered the courtroom but didn’t look at the defendant, to whom prosecutors say she gave a “hand job” in a South Jakarta hotel room last year. Antasari is accused of masterminding the murder of businessman Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, who had taken Rani as a third wife. According to the indictment, Antasari, the former chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), ordered the March 14 armed ambush on Nasrudin’s car in Tangerang after the businessman threatened to reveal the hotel tryst to lawmakers and journalists. Earlier in the day, co-defendant Sigid Haryo Wibisono, testifying for the prosecution, said that Antasari had asked him to provide money to finance the murder. Rani looked calm as she responded to questions by the judges, the prosecution and the defense team. Head defense lawyer Juniver Girsang said Rani had mainly repeated her previous testimony to police about a sexual encounter with Antasari at the Grand Mahakam Hotel. “We questioned her competency as a witness,” Juniver said during a break in the hearing. “She went to the hotel accompanied by her husband in a taxi. She entered the room [where Antasari was waiting], and then suddenly her husband rushed into the room and got angry. It looked to us that the incident had been set up.” Prosecutors have accused Sigid of providing Rp 500 million ($53,000) for the murder and arranging a series of meetings to discuss the murder plot with Antasari and co-defendant Wiliardi Wizar, a National Police officer, at his home. When he was given a chance to speak, Antasari said he believed Sigid had been “forced by police” to make an admission against him.

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