Former Lawmaker, Bribery Defendant Dies in Detention

By webadmin on 12:06 pm May 24, 2011
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Ulma Nurriva

Poltak Sitorus, a former Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmakers being tried at the Anti Corruption Court for allegedly receiving bribes to sway votes in the selection of the Central Bank’s senior deputy governor in 2004, died on Tuesday morning at Cipinang penitentiary in East Jakarta.

“Yes [he died]. It was sudden. We took him to the prison’s clinic after he [lost consciousness],” said Cipinang prison chief Edi Kurniadi on Tuesday.

Edi said that Poltak was doing his morning exercises and then played a game of table tennis before collapsing.

“He never had any health complaints. But I would not be aware if he had a condition. We took him to the clinic about 9 a.m.,” he said.

The body has been transferred to the forensics department at Sukamto police hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta.

The 67-year-old politician was arrested in January. He was being tried together with other PDI-P lawmakers involved in the same case — namely Agus Condro Prayitno, Max Moein, Rusman Lumban Toruan and Willem Max Tutuarima.

The five were members of House Commission IX overseeing banking affairs for the period 1999-2004 and had allegedly received Rp 500 million ($58,500) each in traveler’s checks from a total of Rp 9.8 billion for PDI-P lawmakers.

According to his lawyer, Petrus Selestinus, the cause of death was presumably of heart attack.

“The time of death was around 10.15 a.m.,” he added.