Indonesia's Team of 8 Reaches Decision in KPK Case

A special fact-finding team has drawn a preliminary conclusion on whether there was a conspiracy to frame senior officials of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and will present it to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as early as Monday, officials said. The assessment of the legitimacy of the National Police investigation against Chandra M Hamzah and Bibit Samad Rianto, suspended deputy chairmen of the commission, known as the KPK, comes as former KPK chief Antasari Azhar said on Sunday he wasn’t sure that his deputies ever took bribes. Anies Baswedan, a member of the eight-person fact-finding team, known as the Team of Eight, on Sunday said the team was trying to arrange a meeting with the president today, but declined to say what it had concluded regarding the investigation. “We will discuss all of the progress we have made,” he said, commending the police and state prosecutors for being cooperative. “It will include whether we still need more information from other people.” Anies said the team had reached a conclusion about whether there was a plot to frame the KPK officials. “I will answer your detailed questions … after we report to the president,” he said. The KPK scandal involves an alleged plot by officials within the National Police and Attorney General’s Office to frame Chandra and Bibit on corruption charges as part of an effort to destroy the commission. On Sunday, following an interview with the fact-finding team, Antasari described to reporters his meeting in Singapore late last year with fugitive graft suspect Anggoro Widjojo, who is alleged to have channeled bribe money to Chandra and Bibit to avoid prosecution. Anggoro ran PT Masaro Radiokom, which is being investigated by the KPK in relation to a 2006 Forestry Ministry project. Antasari said he agreed to meet Anggoro after hearing that some KPK commissioners were taking bribes. He said he later met in Malang, East Java, with Ary Muladi, who is alleged to have passed money from Anggoro to Bibit and Chandra. “Because I love the KPK, I went to Singapore and met with Anggoro. He gave testimony and spoke convincingly as if there were bribery in the KPK,” said Antasari, who is on trial for murder in another case. “I repeatedly asked Anggoro about this when I met him in Singapore. There was no evidence provided.” “Ary [later] told me details of how he transferred the money. But I cannot determine if it was true or not,” he added. Antasari said he was never forced to tell the National Police about the alleged bribery. He said the testimony he gave to police was based on Anggoro’s testimony in Singapore. “Then the police wanted to follow up this case,” he said. The National Police have cited the testimonies of Antasari and Ary as grounds to investigate Chandra and Bibit. Ary has since retracted his testimony, and he expressed deep regret on Saturday for claiming to have bribed the KPK officials. Chandra and Bibit have denied taking any money. They were released from jail last week but remain under investigation. On Friday night, the president’s fact-finding team met with police and state prosecutors to gather details about the investigation into the KPK. Late on Thursday, National Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri told a House of Representatives hearing that police had enough evidence to bring the KPK deputies to court, and denied any plot to frame them. Lawyers for Chandra and Bibit, meanwhile, repeated their calls on Sunday for the police to drop the investigation. “Ary Muladi has firmly said he never met my clients, neither did he hand them money as accused earlier by police,” defense lawyer Ahmad Rivai said. The controversial case reached a turning point last week after the Constitutional Court played wiretapped phone conversations involving Anggoro’s brother, Anggodo Widjojo, a prosecutor from the Attorney General’s Office, and several unidentified persons apparently discussing a plot to frame Chandra and Bibit.

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