Minister Implicated in Corruption Scandal

By webadmin on 01:28 pm Apr 28, 2010
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Jakarta Globe

Industry Minister MS Hidayat and the hugely controversial chairman of the Indonesian Football Association, Nurdin Halid, have been implicated in the massive corruption scandal involving the House of Representatives.

During an ongoing corruption trial of United Development Party (PPP) legislator Endin Soefihara, just one of 41 former and sitting legislators implicated in the graft surrounding the appointment of Miranda Goeltom as Bank Indonesia senior deputy governor in 2004, it was alleged that Hidayat and fellow Golkar party member Nurdin, a sitting legislator, took bribes.

Nurdin, on Wednesday, however, rejected the accusations that he took money from former Golkar lawmaker Hamka Yandhu.

“It’s not true that I received any bribes but I did give money to Hamka Yandhu,” Nurdin told Metro TV.

Nurdin said he had called Hamka Yandhu about the damning testimony.

“I am ready to give clarification about the matter,” Nurdin said.

Hamka and Endin Soefihara both admitted in the Anti-Corruption Court in Jakarta on Tuesday to receiving bribes linked to Goeltom appointment.

The two allegedly received Rp 1.5 billion ($166,000) and Rp 7.3 billion respectively in traveler’s checks shortly after voting for Goeltom.

Both men allegedly distributed the illicit funds to members of their respective factions who also voted for Miranda.

Nurdin and Paskah Suzetta, a former minister of national development planning, received Rp 500 million each, Hamka said.

“Nurdin told me he wanted the money in cash, so I cashed the checks on his behalf. Paskah was the Golkar faction chairman at the time, so it would be disrespectful if he didn’t get his cut,” Hamka said.

Nurdin has been roundly criticized during his tenure as head of the maligned football association, known as the PSSI, for the repeated failure of the national team and the domestic league, which is perceived by most as badly managed.

The allegations against Hidayat and Nurdin, however, do not automatically mean they will be charged, with few of the legislators implicated in the graft having been charged by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).