PDI-P Lawmaker Goes on Trial in Bank Indonesia Vote-Buying Case

Sitting lawmaker Dudhie Makmun Murod went on trial at the Anti-Corruption Court in Jakarta on Monday for his alleged role in a Rp 24 billion ($2.6 million) bribery case linked to the appointment of a central bank senior deputy governor in 2004.The House of Representatives member from the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) is accused of distributing Rp 9.8 billion to 18 fellow party members serving on House Commission IX, which at that time oversaw financial and banking affairs, in return for voting economist Miranda Goeltom into the Bank Indonesia post. Miranda was also backed by dozens of lawmakers from three other party factions — who were also alleged to have taken bribes — and enjoyed a landslide victory with 41 votes from the 51-member House commission. Former lawmakers Hamka Yandhu of the Golkar Party and Udju Djuhaeri from the Police and Military faction, as well as sitting United Development Party (PPP) lawmaker Endin Soefihara, are now awaiting trial for allegedly distributing the bribe money to their respective faction members. Dudhie, who claims he’s a scapegoat and last month vowed to drag down fellow PDI-P lawmakers with him, could face up to five years in prison if convicted. “Shortly after voting for Miranda on June 8, 2004, the defendant was asked by fellow party member Panda Nababan to meet a man identified as Ahmad Hakim Safari, also known as Arie Malangjudo, at Bebek Bali restaurant in the Senayan area of South Jakarta,” lead prosecutor Muhammad Rum told the court. The prosecution, from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), alleged that Dudhie went to the restaurant to receive the bribe in the form of traveler’s checks issued by Bank International Indonesia that originated from businesswoman Nunun Nurbaeti Daradjatun, wife of former National Police deputy chief Adang Daradjatun. Nunun’s lawyer, Partahi Sihombing, acknowledged on Monday that Ahmad was an aide to the businesswoman, but said he had not acted on his client’s behalf. Ahmad “is not just any man, he knows many politicians and lawmakers,” Sihombing said. “Nunun has pointedly denied that she distributed bribe money,” he said. The prosecution alleged that Ahmad gave Dudhie a red envelope containing traveler’s checks meant for PDI-P lawmakers, each of whom allegedly received between Rp 350 million and Rp 1.45 billion. The prosecution also said Ahmad had yellow, green and white envelopes — PDI-P, Golkar and PPP’s party colors are red, yellow and green, respectively. “The defendant kept Rp 500 million for himself,” Rum said. Among the PDI-P lawmakers said to have accepted bribes were senior party members Panda Nababan and Agus Condro Prayitno, who were the first to admit involvement to KPK investigators. Agus, who was immediately thrown out of the PDI-P after blowing the whistle on his fellow party members, welcomed the start of Dudhie’s trial. “The KPK must resolve the case and bring Panda and Tjahjo to justice,” he said, referring to PDI-P secretary general Tjahjo Kumolo. The prosecution said that Tjahjo played a central role in the bribery by instructing every PDI-P lawmaker to vote for Goeltom during a meeting at the Dharmawangsa Hotel in South Jakarta on May 29. Dudhie’s lawyer, Amir Karyatin, said the defense would not challenge the indictment. “We want the case to be over quickly. My client is willing to cooperate,” Amir said. “Dudhie is just a victim. The trial will reveal who the real mastermind is.”

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