The antigraft agency on Friday (10/11) officially declared House Speaker Setya Novanto a suspect in the high-profile graft case involving the procurement of national electronic identity cards, or e-KTP.
The much-awaited announcement corroborated the content of a letter the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) issued earlier. The letter, which was circulating on Monday, hinted that Novanto had been named a suspect in the case for a second time.
KPK officials have since admitted that the agency had recently launched a fresh investigation and named a new suspect in the case, after repeatedly declining to single out Novanto.
“The KPK issued an investigation warrant on Oct. 31 against suspect S.N.,” KPK commissioner Saut Situmorang told the press at his office in South Jakarta on Friday, referring to Novanto by his initials.
“S.N., in his capacity as a House of Representatives member for the period 2009-14 […] allegedly misused his authority […] which allegedly resulted in at least Rp 2.3 trillion [$170 million] in state losses,” Saut said.
Novanto was cleared of corruption charges in a much-criticized ruling in September after filing a pretrial motion with the South Jakarta District Court. The sole judge presiding in the matter declared that the process of naming Novanto as a suspect had been procedurally flawed.
“As long as the legal avenue is available, we will face that in accordance with existing regulations,” KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said. “What is certain, is that the KPK will keep investigating this case.”
Novanto was first named a suspect in the graft case surrounding the Rp 5.9 trillion project in July when it emerged that he had allegedly unlawfully received Rp 574 billion from it. He could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Novanto has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has failed to meet most KPK summonses for questioning as a suspect as well as a witness in the case. He made one court appearance this week as a witness for defendant Andi Agustinus, also known as Andi Narogong, a businessman accused of involvement in the e-KTP graft case.