Saturday, June 02, 2007

Ex-Bulog chief has brief health scare

JAKARTA: Former Bulog chief and suspect in a number of graft cases, Widjanarko Puspoyo, returned to prison on Thursday after being treated briefly at Pertamina Hospital for heart problems.

Widjanarko was rushed to the hospital at around 7:30 a.m. after complaining about an ache in his chest. After three hours of treatment in intensive care, he was returned to his Cipinang Prison cell by around 10:30 a.m.

"The doctor said he did not need to stay at the hospital as he was not too ill," Widjarnako's lawyer, Bonaran Saragih, was quoted as saying by news portal on Thursday.

On March 14, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) named Widjanarko as a suspect in a 2001 cattle importation scandal believed to have caused some Rp 11 billion (US$1.2 million) in losses to the state. He has been in detainment since March 20 and has also been named as a suspect in a graft cast involving rice imports from Vietnam.

Bonaran said he would request a second opinion on his client's health from Harapan Kita Hospital, as the treatment at Pertamina Hospital had been recommended by the AGO.

"If there is no problem, we will examine (Widjarnako's health) at Harapan Kita Hospital on Monday," Bonaran was quoted as saying by news portal on Friday.

Bonaran argued that the AGO could not reject his request for a second opinion, as it related to his client's health and safety. -- JP

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