Graft suspect Miranda Goeltom offered up to Rp 500 million ($53,000) each for legislators’ votes in her selection in 2004 as senior deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, a witness revealed at her trial on Thursday.
Agus Condro Prayitno, the former Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) legislator who blew the whistle on the Rp 24 billion bribery scandal, testified at the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court that he had learned about Miranda’s alleged offer from Tjahjo Kumolo, a senior PDI-P politician.
He said that in a meeting with other PDI-P legislators serving on the House of Representatives’ vetting committee for the central bank post, Tjahjo told them that the party had decided it would vote for Miranda.
“Tjahjo said that Miranda was prepared to pay us Rp 300 million each. But if we pushed for Rp 500 million, she wouldn’t say no,” Agus said.
He added that among those who attended the meeting were Emir Moeis and Panda Nababan.
Panda was later convicted and jailed for taking a bribe in the case, while Emir and Tjahjo have never been charged. Emir, however, was recently named a suspect in another corruption case.
Agus, who also served time for his role in the case, said that after the meeting all the members of the vetting committee were invited to meet with Miranda at a hotel to discuss her candidacy.
He said that during that closed meeting, Miranda asked them not to bring up the issue of her divorce during their public questioning of her on June 8, 2004.
Just hours before the questioning, Agus continued, he was called into Emir’s office and handed a brown envelope by Dudhie Makmun Murodh, the PDI-P treasurer at the House, containing Rp 500 million in traveler’s checks.
He said he suspected all along that the money was for voting for Miranda. “I’d also heard rumors that she was definitely going to win the appointment,” he added.
Dudhie was another of the 28 legislators convicted of taking bribes.
Miranda tried to cast doubt on Agus’s testimony, asking why he had not declined the money. She also questioned why he had not brought up the issue with her at the time. “And your repeated use of the expression ‘as I remember it’ is dangerous and can lead to an innocent person being put on trial,” she said.
“I never told Tjahjo I would give Rp 300 million or Rp 500 million.”
Miranda faces corruption charges that could see her face up to five years in prison if convicted. Despite being the person at the center of the scandal, she was only named a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) this year.
But her associate, Nunun Nurbaetie, was convicted in May.