KPK Probes Blogger on Nazaruddin Interview

By webadmin on 09:37 am Sep 10, 2011
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Ronna Nirmala

A citizen journalist who interviewed high-profile graft suspect Muhammad Nazaruddin during his time on the run was called in for questioning Friday by an ethics committee at the Corruption Eradication Commission.

Iwan Piliang, a well-known blogger who spoke to the disgraced former Democratic Party treasurer on Skype, attended the headquarters of the commission, known as the KPK, for a three-hour inquiry.

The questioning coincided with the KPK’s internal investigation into Nazaruddin’s claims that three of its top officials met with him before he fled the country.

The allegations have prompted speculations of backroom dealing between Nazaruddin and the anti-graft body.

After the questioning, Iwan described the encounter as “a discussion” with the committee members.

“It’s not an investigation of me,” he said. “It was purely about all the information I have on Nazaruddin.”

Iwan said the KPK committee wanted to know how he gained access to Nazaruddin for the interview. A recording of the Skype conversation was aired on MetroTV.

“I had a connection,” Iwan told reporters. “For almost four months I’ve been working for the [Democratic] Party’s [magazine], so it was easy for me to get links.”

Iwan admitted that the graft suspect had funded his magazine, and both men supported Anas Urbaningrum’s bid for the party’s chairmanship last year.

The citizen journalist claimed to have inside knowledge that a meeting between KPK officials and Nazaruddin did occur, describing the meeting as a violation of the KPK code of conduct.

“We need to strengthen the KPK,” he said. “That’s why [KPK officials] must reveal the facts about the meetings.”

Iwan later joined activists who shaved their heads in front of the KPK’s headquarters to express support for the body.

The activists, led by Coalition of Anti-Corruption Societies (Kompak) member Fadjroel Rachman, had promised to go bald once Nazaruddin was dismissed from the House of Representatives. The former treasurer was dismissed on Wednesday.

Among the nine who shaved their heads was Thamrin Amal Tamagola, a sociologist at the University of Indonesia.

“We are doing this to show that civilians can help fight corruption if they unite,” Fadjroel said.