House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto may be put on a wanted list after what appeared to be an attempt by him to escape arrest on Wednesday evening (15/11).
Setya was nowhere to be found when investigators from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrived to arrest him at his residence in South Jakarta, just hours after he failed to show up for questioning over the graft scandal surrounding the procurement of national electronic identity cards (e-KTP).
Antigraft investigators immediately issued a warrant for Setya’s arrest, KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah told reporters at his office in South Jakarta in the early hours of Thursday.
“There’s still a possibility for him to turn himself in,” Febri said.
At Setya’s house, which was reportedly guarded by dozens of police officers, the investigators only met his family members and lawyers, Febri said.
“We are still searching for him, but if he can’t be found … we’ll coordinate with police to place him on a wanted list.”
Setya appeared at a House plenary meeting on Wednesday morning.
So far, he has failed to attend most of the KPK’s questioning sessions — as suspect and as witness — and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Setya was first named a suspect in July, but the South Jakarta District Court acquitted him of graft charges in September. Last Friday, he was again named a graft suspect in the case that resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion ($170 billion) state losses.
The chairman of the Golkar Party is accused of receiving Rp 574 billion from the Rp 5.9 trillion procurement project, and can face up to 20 years in jail if convicted.
Two days before the questioning session, Setya’s lawyer Fredrich Yunadi filed a judicial review with the Constitutional Court against the 2002 Law on the Corruption Eradication Commission.
The articles of the law that Setya seeks to challenge include one that allows the antigraft agency to question a suspect by setting aside procedures stipulated by other laws. Another article allows KPK to request that the immigration office impose a travel ban on a graft suspect.
Fredrich has also filed a police report against KPK commissioners Agus Rahardjo and Saut Situmorang, claiming they have misused their authority and used fake documents to bar Setya from leaving the country.