Former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Mentioned in e-KTP Trials
Former president SBY was mentioned in the testimony of Mirwan Amir in the trial of the e-KTP corruption case, with Setya Novanto in the dock, Thursday (25/1). The former Democratic Party politician claimed to have suggested to SBY to stop the project.
The e-KTP (Electronic Identity Card) Project was rolled out during SBY’s presidency. Following pilot trials in six regions in 2009, various problems were found, encouraging institutions such as the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) as well as the Government Procurement Policy Agency (LKPP) to issue a recommendation for the postponement of the project. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs proceeded to continue the project in 2011. In the end, the project worth Rp 5.9 trillion was suspected to be subject to huge amounts of corruption. Total state losses are estimated to reach Rp 2.3 trillion. Until now, six persons have been named as suspects by the KPK, including Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR), Setya Novanto.
In his testimony, Mirwan, who at that time served as Deputy Chair of the Budget Agency of the House (2010-2012) claimed to have conveyed directly to President SBY at his residence in Cikeas that the project should not be continued. "We have conveyed to Pak SBY that the e-KTP project should not be proceeded with, but Pak SBY said that the regional elections (Pilkada) were looming, and thus the project was continued," Mirwan said in his testimony. Mirwan Amir allegedly received US $ 1.2 million from the Director of PT Cahaya Wijaya Kusuma, Andi Agustinus, who allegedly served as the distributor of funds in the e-KTP project.
This is not the first time the Democratic Party has stumbled in the e-KTP trials. Previously, the Public Prosecutor in the indictment of suspects Irman and Sugiharto, and the indictment of suspect Andi Narogong, also mentioned that the Democratic Party and a number of other political parties received a share of monies from the corruption of the e-KTP project, with an amount of Rp 150 billion each.
The mention of SBY’s name was immediately responded by Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Democratic Party, Agus Hermanto. Through a written statement, Agus, who was also the Deputy Chair of the House, affirmed that the e-KTP project was mandated by legislation with a loud and clear policy base. The Democratic Party even planned to file a report regarding Setya Novanto's lawyer Firman Wijaya on the accusation of spreading public lies and disseminating assumptions on the testimony of witnesses in court outside the trial.
Responding to this polemic, Setya Novanto admitted to not know anything about SBY’s involvement in his case. "That's the business of Pak Mirwan with Pak SBY. It was Pak Mirwan who was the Deputy Chair of the Democratic Party, so probably he knows better than me," he said. Previously, Setya Novanto also stated his readiness to become a justice collaborator in the e-KTP case to reveal the role of a larger figure in the corruption.
Mirwan Amir's information is quite interesting to be investigated by the Commission for the sake of investigating the involvement of other parties in this case. Various information from the results of investigation and testimonies should be examined to further enrich the facts in unraveling the tangled web of the e-KTP corruption case.
However, the polemic of the mention of SBY’s in the e-KTP trial should not make the KPK lose direction in handling the case. KPK must remain focused on the ongoing trial process to prove the indictment against Setya Novanto. *** (Kes/Ade)
Kelompok masyarakat sipil melakukan aksi "Tolak Bala" di depan Gedung Merah-Putih KPK, 20 Desember 2019, menjelang pelantikan Pimpinan KPK dan Dewan Pengawas KPK Terpilih (Dok. ICW)
The participants of the Public Procurement Monitoring Training, representatives from local CSOs and journalists. Photo: NPPA, 2019