Abdul Khalik , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta
An in-law of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was arrested Thursday, almost a month after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named him a suspect in a graft scandal involving lawmakers.
The KPK arrested Aulia Pohan — whose daughter, Annisa Pohan, is married to Yudhoyono’s eldest son Agus Harimurti — along with three other former deputy Bank Indonesia governors: Maman Sumantri, Bun Bunan Hutapea and Aslim Tadjuddin.
Yudhoyono has drawn praise from many activists and analysts for taking a hands-off approach to the scandal in which Rp 100 billion (US$9 million) was embezzled from the central bank.
The scandal centers on the disbursement of Rp 100 billion from the central bank to finance legal defense for five former BI senior officials implicated in a Bank Indonesia liquidity support graft case and to bribe legislators to expedite an amendment to the BI law.
Upon naming Aulia a suspect, the KPK came under immediate pressure to arrest him and all others implicated in the case.
The arrests came after the anti-graft body questioned the suspects for more than eight hours starting 9 a.m. Thursday.
Aulia and Maman were brought to the Police Mobile Brigade’s detention center in Kelapa Dua in Depok, West Java, while Bun Bunan and Aslim were taken to the National Police headquarters in South Jakarta.
“We are detaining them to make the investigation process easier,” KPK chairman Antasari Azhar told The Jakarta Post immediately after Aulia had been brought to the detention center.
Aulia smiled for reporters upon his arrival at the KPK office, saying he was ready to face the worst.
“How can I say I am not ready (for detention)?,” he said.
Lawyers for all the suspects said they would file a request for their clients’ detentions to be suspended.
Antasari said the KPK had sent officials to all the suspects’ residences to inform their families about the arrests, but vowed there would be no special treatment for the four suspects.
“It’s normal if they request their detentions be suspended but we have our own considerations. Remember, this is not the end of the case. There is the possibility that others are involved,” he said without elaborating.
The disbursement of the central bank funds was decided in a meeting of the then BI board of governors, chaired by Burhanuddin Abdullah.
Burhanuddin, a former BI chief, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by the Corruption Court late last month, while two other former BI officials — former BI legal bureau chief Oey Hoey Tiong and former BI governor bureau chief Rusli Simanjuntak — were jailed for four years each for the same charges.
Many anti-graft activists have criticized the KPK for procrastinating naming Aulia a suspect and detaining him, pointing out that other suspects in the case were detained long ago and some have already been convicted.