Idrus Marham Suspected of Trading in Influence in the Power Plant Corruption Case


The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) officially detained former Minister of Social Affairs, Idrus Marham, on Friday (31/8). He was detained after having been named a suspect in the alleged bribery in the Riau-1 Steam Power Plant (PLTU) project, last week. Idrus was named a suspect by the KPK with the suspicion of using his influence as the Secretary General of the Golkar Party in the power plant project.

KPK suspects that Idrus has received a USD 1.5 million pledge from Johannes B. Kotjo if the Samantaka Batubara company, a subsidiary of Blackgold, signs a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) contract with PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN). Johannes B. Kotjo is another suspect who has been detained earlier by the KPK, and is a shareholder of Blackgold Natural Resource Limited, one of the companies in the Riau-1 PLTU project consortium. Together with Johannes, former Deputy Chair of the Energy Commission of the House of Representatives (DPR) Eni Maulani Saragih was also detained by the KPK in an arrest operation (OTT) on July 13, 2018.

The PLTU Riau-1 is a 2x300 MW mine mouth power plant project with a value of USD 900 million. This project is a part of the 35,000 MW electricity mega project launched by President Jokowi. Although the President Director of PLN, Sofyan Basir, mentioned that the case of PLTU Riau-1 would not affect the implementation of the electricity mega project, the alleged bribery in PLTU Riau-1 could not be underestimated. This is especially because of the mode of trading in influence carried out by Idrus Marham.

In addition to Idrus Marham, there have been several cases of trading in influence, such as by Ahmad Fathanah, Lutfi Hasan, Choel Malarangeng, and Irman Gusman. This phenomenon shows that the mode of trading in influence as a form of corruption is increasingly urgent to be included in the positive law of the Anti-Corruption Law. Law enforcement officials have had difficulty processing the corruption mode of trading in influence due to rule limitations, and including it within the ambit of the bribery or extortion articles, which actually have fundamental differences.

The concept of trading in influence is governed by the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in article 18. The definition of trading in influence is the promise, offering or giving to a public official or any other person, or the solicitation or aceptance by a public official or any other person, directly or indirectly, of an undue advantage in order that the public official or the person abuse his or her real or supposed influence. Whereas bribery is defined as the promise, offering or giving, to a public official, or the solicitation or aceptance by a public official, directly or indirectly, of an undue advantage, for the official himself or herself or another person or entity, in order that the official act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her official duties. The concept of trading in influence is a priority to be ratified by Indonesia as a form of serious commitment to eradicate corruption.

In the Idrus case, the KPK arrested him using Article 12 letter a or Article 12 letter b or Article 11 of Law No. 31 of 1999 as amended by Law No. 20 of 2001 concerning Eradication of the Crime of Corruption juncto Article 55 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code or Article 56 2nd of the Coriminal Code juncto Article 64 Paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code. This is because according to the KPK, Idrus has several roles in the Riau-1 PLTU bribe. Among them, Idrus received a promise or gift from Johannes B. Kotjo; Idrus is suspected of knowing the money received by Eni from Johannes B. Kotjo; Idrus allegedly played a role in encouraging the signing of the PTU Riau-1 Power Purchase Agreement; and Idrus is expected to receive a USD 1.5 million allotment from Johannes B. Kotjo. (Dewi/Adnan).


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