Saturday, May 19, 2007

Brother of ex-Bulog head held on graft charges

Friday, May 04, 2007
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The brother of former State Logistics Agency (Bulog) head Widjanarko Puspoyo has been detained on corruption charges following day-long questioning by the Attorney General's Office (AGO) on Thursday.

Salman Maryadi, an AGO spokesman, confirmed that Widjokongko Puspoyo was detained while in AGO custody soon after the questioning ended at around 8 p.m.

He was charged under articles of the law pertaining to corruption eradication, Maryadi said.

Widjokongko was named a suspect in a graft case involving rice imports from Vietnam between 2001 and 2002. He had arrived at the AGO in South Jakarta around 7:30 a.m. with his lawyer Bahari Gultom.

Junior Attorney General for Special Crimes Hendarman Supandji, who questioned Widjokongko, said he was implicated in the case when AGO investigators discovered evidence of the flow of US$1.2 million into the account of PT Arden Bridge Investment, which is owned by Widjokongko.

Articles 11 and 12 of the 1999 law on corruption eradication stipulate that government officers who receive gifts or promises of gifts in relation to their position could face five years in prison or a fine of Rp 250 million ($27,500).

"The law pertains to any attempt to make oneself rich and also says that the flow of funds to family members can be categorized into this definition," Hendarman said.

The AGO named both Widjokongko and Widjanarko as suspects in the case on April 25, but did not immediately detain Widjokongko. He was, however, prohibited from leaving the country.

His brother, Widjanarko, was questioned Thursday by the East Java Attorney General's Office as a witness in relation to allegations of graft in the East Java Logistics Agency involving the fictitious procurement of two dryers and rice grain for Rp 21 billion ($2,307,000) in 2004.

Widjanarko, who has been in detention since March after being named a suspect in another graft case involving an Rp 11 billion (US$1.2 million) Australian cattle import scandal in 2001, was questioned by the AGO in Cipinang penitentiary, East Jakarta, on Wednesday.

The AGO's director of investigation, Muhammad Salim, said the AGO would establish a special team to investigate the East Java allegations, which were now being handled by the East Java Attorney General's Office, because it could develop into a multi-regional investigation.

Two former officers at the East Java Logistic Agency, Mucharror and Ali Masyur, were named suspects and detained in Medaeng prison in Sidoarjo, East Java. (02)

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