Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto has confirmed that a charitable foundation he founded received $1 million from Djoko Sugiarto Tjandra, a graft fugitive at the center of the PT Bank Bali scandal.
The allegation, though not new, recently resurfaced with the launch of a controversial book, “ Membongkar Gurita Cikeas ,” or “Unraveling the Cikeas Octopus,” by veteran activist and academic George Junus Aditjondro.
Tjandra was sentenced to two years in prison in June for embezzling Rp 546 billion ($57.9 million) of state funds injected by the central bank into the now liquidated Bank Bali during the Asian financial crisis. Tjandra, however, fled the country to evade his prison sentence.
During an interview with Metro TV on Tuesday, the minister acknowledged that Tjandra had made the donation in 2008. “There is nothing wrong with the donation,” he said. “At the time, he was a free man and there is nothing wrong for a foundation to receive funds from a private company.”
Bibit Samad Rianto, deputy chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), said the antigraft body was already aware of the payment but the matter was out of its jurisdiction.
He said the issue first came to light during the KPK’s investigation into convicted case broker Artalyta Suryani. A travel ban was issued against Tjandra, but after it was discovered the money went to a charitable foundation, the case was dropped. Nivell Rayda