Taped Evidence Emerges of Susno Bribery: Source

By webadmin on 10:07 pm Apr 19, 2010
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Farouk Arnaz

Detectives investigating allegations that Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji received a Rp 500 million ($55,500) payoff from alleged case broker Sjahril Djohan have a recording of a mobile phone conversation as evidence, according to a National Police source.

“Thank God we have that [mobile phone] conversation. It is between Susno and Haposan Hutagalung,” the source told the Jakarta Globe, referring to a lawyer who allegedly gave the bribe money to Sjahril.

Sjahril, who was close to Susno, the National Police’s former chief of detectives, had allegedly promised Haposan to speed up investigations involving an arowana fish farm in Riau in 2008. At the time, Haposan was representing a businessman who had allegedly been defrauded of $11 million in the business. Sjahril, declared a corruption suspect by police recently, told investigators that he had handed over the money to Susno.

“In the conversation between Haposan and Susno, Haposan had promised something to Pak Susno, but he said it in code. He asked, how many kilograms [are needed]? We believe kilograms was code for money,” the source said. There was a possibility the recorded conversation could also have been related to rogue tax official Gayus Tambunan, the source said.

The former official at the Directorate General of Taxation was once represented by Haposan. He was acquitted of embezzlement charges by the Tangerang District Court in March, even after police investigators found Rp 28 billion in his bank accounts and slapped him with corruption and money-laundering charges. Prosecutors opted to drop the corruption and money laundering charges and accused him of embezzling just Rp 370 million.

Gayus has recently been renamed a corruption suspect, after Susno decided to turn whistleblower and make public the details of Gayus’s case, as well as revealing an alleged case-broker syndicate operating out of National Police headquarters.

When asked how long before police would declare Susno a bribery suspect, the source said: “We are ready to arrest him but it all depends on the National Police chief [Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri] now. We do not want Susno’s arrest to spark too much public controversy. We are going to do this one very carefully.”

Another police source told the Globe that Bambang and Insp. Gen. Mathius Salempang, leader of the investigation of the Susno case, had reported the results of their investigations to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Edward Aritonang said Susno has been summoned to appear today to provide clarification in regard to his allegations that a case-broker syndicate was operating at National Police headquarters. Edward said that there was a possibility that Susno would be confronted by testimony from other suspects in the case.

“Do not ask me about things that can happen tomorrow. I do not know what is going to happen in the next hour,” Edward said when asked whether Susno would be declared a suspect today.

Hotman Sitompul, Sjahril’s lawyer, said that his client was ready to be confronted by Susno. “Let us see what happens,” he said.