KPK to Question Choel Mallarangeng This Friday
Rizky Amelia | January 22, 2013
The Jakarta Globe
Antigraft officials plan to question the younger brother of Andi Mallarangeng, the former sports minister, later this week in relation to a corruption case in which his brother has been named a suspect.
Johan Budi, a spokesman for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), said on Monday that the questioning of Choel Mallarangeng had been rescheduled to Friday after it was called off last week due to massive flooding in Jakarta that affected the KPK office.
“We will send out a summons today for him to attend a questioning session this coming Friday,” he said, adding that Choel would be quizzed as a witness for both Andi and Deddy Kusdinar, a mid-ranking Sports Ministry official who is the only other suspect in the Hambalang sports center case to date.
The KPK made waves last month when it named Andi a suspect in connection to the Rp 2.5 trillion ($260 million) project, the first time that a serving minister had ever been named a graft suspect. Andi, from the Democratic Party, promptly resigned from the cabinet after the claims.
He faces up to two counts of corruption for his role in a raft of irregularities and alleged embezzlement that the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) says led to state losses of up to Rp 243 billion.
Andi has been slapped with a travel ban to prevent him leaving the country pending the investigation. Though not named a suspect, Choel has also been prohibited from traveling abroad, a move that many analysts say indicates the KPK could be set to name him a suspect as well.
Andi is not the only senior Democrat to be implicated in the case. Muhammad Nazaruddin, the ruling party’s former treasurer, has repeatedly accused Democrat chairman Anas Urbaningrum of taking up to Rp 100 billion in kickbacks to steer the project to state-owned contractors Adhi Karya and Wijaya Karya.
Nazaruddin, who was sentenced to four and a half years in prison last year for his role in a separate bid-rigging case linked to the Sports Ministry, claims Anas used the money to pay for his successful bid to win the Democrat chairmanship.
The KPK has drawn criticism for the slow pace of the Hambalang investigation, which began in August 2011, but denies it is under any political pressure to draw out the probe. Zulkarnain, a deputy chairman of the KPK, said last Friday that he was aware of the criticism aimed at his investigators but stressed they would not be swayed in doing their jobs.