A graft defendant testified that it is normal for members of the House of Representatives Budget Committee to ask for a “commitment fee” when deciding how much money to disburse for development projects.
In a trial surrounding the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry’s regional projects at the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court on Friday, I Nyoman Suisnaya said regional officials know how much they should give to lawmakers in order to get the funds they need.
Nyoman said that Sindu Malik, a former official believed to have served as a broker in the bribery scandal, asked for a 10 percent fee for lawmakers in regard to Rp 73.1 billion ($8 million) for development projects in four Papua districts under the ministry’s Fund for the Acceleration of Infrastructure Development in Transmigration Areas (DPPIDT).
“The regional officials considered it too high. They [regional officials] are very experienced in dealing with lawmakers, so several of them wanted to ask Tamsil Linrung,” Nyoman said, referring to the deputy head of the Budget Committee. “They said they usually gave only six percent.”
Nyoman told the judges it was time that the public knew the corrupt practices of the committee.
“Hopefully, the case will provide the public with insight that Banggar [Budget Committee] members did receive fees,” he said.
Nyoman and Dadong Irbarelawan, a colleague at the ministry, are charged with receiving Rp 1.5 billion in kickbacks from a businesswoman, Dharnawati.
The judges have found that the businesswoman had provided the bribe to get her company, Alam Jaya Papua, development projects in the four districts in Papua.
She has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for providing the cash bribe.
Nyoman said the Rp 1.5 billion they received from Dharnawati was part of the 10 percent commitment fee, or Rp 7.3 billion, from the total projects.
“Five percent was a commitment fee for the committee members,” he said.
Earlier, Dadong testified at the same court that Muhaimin Iskandar, the manpower and transmigration minister, knew about the Rp 1.5 billion in “commitment fee” because they discussed the fee with him.
When Muhaimin testified in Dadong’s trial on Feb. 20, he denied all guilt, claiming the key figures in the case were trying to shift the blame on him.