House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto on Friday (03/11) repeatedly denied meeting with convicts in a graft case related to the multi-million dollar procurement of national electronic identity cards, or e-KTP.
On Friday, Setya appeared as a witness at a trial hearing for graft defendant Andi Agustinus, also known as Andi Narogong, a businessman accused of being involved in the e-KTP graft scheme. The project was worth Rp 5.9 trillion ($443 million) and ultimately cost the state Rp 2.3 trillion in losses.
Setya failed to appear twice before similar court hearings.
He was named a suspect in July and was accused of receiving Rp 574 billion from the project. The chairman of Indonesia’s second-biggest political party, Golkar, could have faced up to 20 years in jail if found guilty. However, Setya filed a pretrial motion to the South Jakarta District Court in September, after which a sole judge dismissed any criminal proceedings against the House speaker, finding his detainment “procedurally flawed.”
Former Home Affairs Ministry officials Irman and Sugiharto were found guilty of bribery in the case in March, while businessman Andi Narogong is still on trial.
During Irman and Sugiharto’s trial hearings, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors cited evidence that Setya met with all three individuals, as well as with Diah Anggraeni, another ministry official, at the Hotel Gran Melia in South Jakarta in 2010.
The prosecutors in their indictment revealed that in the meeting, Setya “stated his support for a deliberation on budget” for the procurement project that began in 2011.
However, the House speaker denied the meeting took place when confronted by presiding judge John Halasan Butar-Butar on Friday.
“I did not attend because it was not open yet at 6 a.m. So, it’s not true that I held a meeting.”
KPK said it might still charge Setya for his involvement in the graft case.