The disassembled parts of a smuggled Harley Davidson Shovelhead are shown
by customs officials in Jakarta on Thursday. (B1 TV Photo)
Jakarta. Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia's president director I Gusti Ngurah Ashkara is soon to be fired for allegedly smuggling a Harley Davidson motorcycle and two Brompton bicycles, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said on Thursday.
The items were smuggled inside Garuda's brand new Airbus A330-900 Neo being delivered from its factory in Toulouse, France, in mid-November.
There were 22 passengers on the plane and four of them were Garuda directors: the president director, better known as Ari Ashkara, technical and services director Iwan Joeniarto, cargo and business development director Mohammas Iqbal and human resources director Heri Akhyar.
"As the SOE Minister, I will dismiss the Garuda president director. We will not stop there; we will look for other people who might have been involved in this case as well," Erick told a press conference in Jakarta.
The used Harley Davidson motorcycle had been disassembled prior to delivery and smuggled as parts. Customs officials found them wrapped in 15 boxes inside the plane's cargo area.
The Brompton bikes and accessories were found in three other boxes.
Erick said an audit by the customs office showed the smuggled items belonged to the president director, despite the baggage claim tags carrying different names.
Ari had instructed his subordinates to find him a classic Harley Davidson Shovelhead from the 1970s.
The used motorcycle was purchased in April 2019 with the help of a Garuda finance manager in Amsterdam.
"It's really sad that this [personal] transaction had to drag down an SOE," Erick said.
The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhur Binsar Pandjaitan said during a visit to Tongxiang, China, on Thursday that he fully supported Erick's decision.
"[An act like] this will hurt our investment climate," he said.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati meanwhile said smuggling the Harley and the Bromptons had cost the country up to Rp 1.5 billion ($107,000) in unpaid taxes.
"The Harley bike is valued at Rp 800 million and the Brompton bicycles cost Rp 50-60 million each," Sri Mulyani said.
"Everyone should always obey existing regulations," she told reporters.
The death appeared to mark the first fatality in days of street battles across Indonesia (AFP Photo/STR)
An Indonesian student died Thursday as thousands hit the streets nationwide in a wave of opposition to a major overhaul of the country's criminal code and a bid to weaken its anti-corruption agency, police said.
The death appeared to mark the first fatality in days of street battles across the Southeast Asian country, which have left hundreds injured and sparked a call from Amnesty International to probe what it described as "massive police violence" against protesters.
The 21-year-old victim was rushed to hospital suffering from a chest wound and later died as riots erupted in Kendari city on Sulawesi island, where the local parliament was torched, authorities said.
But police denied playing a role in the death, amid social media claims that the engineering student was shot.
"There was an injured student among the crowd. He was taken to the hospital and declared dead as doctors tried to save him. He had a wound on his right chest, but I cannot confirm what kind of injury it was," Southeast Sulawesi police spokesman Harry Golden Hart told Metro TV.
Hundreds have been injured in the protests against a major overhaul of
the country's criminal code (AFP Photo/Juni Kriswanto)
"None of our officers carried live bullets... or even rubber bullets," he added.
The unrest was sparked by a proposed bill that includes dozens of law changes -- from criminalising pre-marital sex and restricting sales of contraceptives, to making it illegal to insult the president.
There has also been a backlash against a separate bill that critics fear would dilute the powers of Indonesia's corruption-fighting agency -- known as the KPK -- including its ability to wire-tap graft suspects.
The demonstrations across the archipelago are among the biggest since mass street protests in 1998 brought down the three-decade Suharto dictatorship.
Passage of the controversial changes has now been delayed.
The demonstrations across the archipelago are among the biggest since mass
street protests in 1998 brought down the three-decade Suharto dictatorship
(AFP Photo/CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN)
And, on Thursday, President Joko Widodo appeared to backtrack on plans to press ahead with the anti-corruption agency law, saying he would consider revising it.
"There was a lot of feedback given to me" about the law, Widodo said during a televised press conference.
"Of course I'll consider (a revision) and after making a decision, I will announce it."
Earlier Thursday, officials said more than 500 students had been arrested after a night of street battles in downtown Jakarta between molotov-cocktail throwing protesters and riot police who shot tear gas into the crowds.
Meanwhile, a mass of students stormed and occupied the local parliament building in Sumatra's Padang city Wednesday.
Most of the Jakarta students were set free, but some were still being held after police found knives and other sharp weapons in their possession, police said.
Students have issued a list of demands including scrapping some of the
criminal-code changes (AFP Photo/Bahauddin Raja BASO)
Students have issued a list of demands including scrapping some of the criminal-code changes, withdrawing troops from Indonesia's restive Papua region, and halting forest fires in Sumatra and Borneo that have unleashed toxic haze across Southeast Asia.
A vote on the criminal-code bill was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but Widodo has called for a delay in passing the controversial changes that could affect millions of Indonesians, including gay and heterosexual couples who might face jail for having sex outside wedlock, or having an affair.
Updating Indonesia's Dutch colonial-era criminal code has been debated for decades and appeared set to pass in 2018 before momentum fizzled out.
A renewed push this year, backed by Islamic groups, was met with a wave of criticism over what many saw as a draconian law that invaded the bedrooms of a nation with some 260 million people -- the fourth most populous on Earth.
Protesters set fires and threw rocks at riot police in Makassar on Sulawesi island to protest against a new criminal code law (AFP Photo/DAENG MANSUR)
Jakarta (AFP) - Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters outside Indonesia's parliament Tuesday as thousands demonstrated nationwide against a new criminal code that would, among other things, outlaw pre-marital sex and weaken the country's anti-graft agency.
Protesters covered their faces and scattered in all directions as chaos erupted in the centre of the sprawling capital, Jakarta.
Police also fired teargas at rock-throwing protesters in Makassar on Sulawesi island, while demonstrators broke down a barrier outside the governor's office in Semarang on Java island.
"(We) forcibly dispersed student because they were carrying out anarchist acts, damaging government property and throwing stones at police," said Dicky Sondani, a South Sulawesi police spokesman.
The police action came after flag- and placard-waving demonstrators gathered
across the Southeast Asian archipelago (AFP Photo/ADEK BERRY)
The police action came after flag- and placard-waving demonstrators gathered across the Southeast Asian archipelago -- including in cultural capital Yogyakarta and holiday hotspot Bali -- for a second day in a row.
On Tuesday, lawmakers debated a wide-ranging legal overhaul including hundreds of new laws that would criminalise pre-marital sex, restrict sales of contraceptives, make it illegal to insult the president, and toughen the Muslim majority country's blasphemy laws.
"We want the bill which is being debated to be revised," said Jakarta university student Amel.
"The police were excessive teargassing us. We weren't being violent," he added.
A vote on the bill was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but President Joko Widodo last week called for a delay in passing the proposed changes after a public backlash.
Riot police used water cannon against protesters in Sulawesi (AFP Photo/ Andri SAPUTRA)
The mooted changes could affect millions of Indonesians, including gay and heterosexual couples who might face jail for having sex outside wedlock, or having an affair.
Widodo's call for a delay came as the Australian embassy in Jakarta issued a fresh travel advisory, warning that the legislation could put unmarried foreign tourists in the crosshairs.
Millions of tourists visit Bali and other beach destinations in the Southeast Asian nation.
Widodo this week stood firm on plans to pass a separate bill that critics fear would dilute the investigative powers of the corruption-fighting agency -- known as the KPK -- including its ability to wire-tap suspects.
The police action came after flag- and placard-waving demonstrators gathered
across the Southeast Asian archipelago (AFP Photo/ADEK BERRY)
Updating Indonesia's criminal code, which dates back to the Dutch colonial era, has been debated for decades and appeared set to pass in 2018 before momentum fizzled out.
A renewed push this year, backed by conservative Islamic groups, was met with a wave of criticism over what many saw as a draconian law that invaded the bedrooms of a nation with some 260 million people -- the fourth most populous on Earth.
An online petition calling for the bill to be scrapped garnered half a million signatures, while hundreds of thousands took to social media to vent their frustration.
The devastating tsunami has shattered the lives of thousands of people. More than 400 families have lost members — and in the hospitals, of all places, people have been cashing in on the survivors' suffering.
A hearse in front of a hospital in Indonesia (DW/J. Küng)
When the relatives of the tsunami victims come to collect the mortal remains of their loved ones from Serang District Hospital in the province of Banten, around 150 kilometers from Java's ravaged coastal region, they are in a state of shock. Jackson Sinaga from Jakarta is one of them. He lost his nine-month-old son to the floodwaters, triggered by the collapse of the Anak Krakatoa volcano just before Christmas. "Satria was fast asleep in a rented villa on Carita Beach when the tsunami crashed through the building," he says. "It happened so fast — I didn't have time to save my little boy."
Traumatized and plagued by feelings of guilt, Jackson has come to collect the boy's lifeless body from the hospital in Serang. However, instead of being met with sympathy, the 29-year-old father is presented with a hefty bill. He's told he has to pay 800,000 rupiah (€50, $55) which he owes for the transport of the body. "In cash," the forensics department employee adds. That's a lot of money in a country where the average monthly wage is less than €240. Jackson, however, is not capable of thinking rationally, and hands over the money.
Family members of the victims are being ripped off
Three more victims' families meet outside the building. They've also been told they owe money — around four million rupiah. This despite the fact that Indonesia's Ministry of Health is paying all costs resulting from the tsunami disaster, in full, with money from the government's coffers. A debate ensues among the relatives of the dead. One of the people who've been swindled collects the receipts and promises to take them to the local authorities.
Receipts issued on forged letterhead
DW confronts the hospital with the accusations, and is invited to speak to its deputy director, Rahmat Fitriadi. When asked if the hospital knew about the illegal takings, Fitriadi bursts into tears. "Neither the management nor our doctors have charged for any services. We have nothing to do with these schemes," says Fitriadi, sobbing. The official letterhead on the receipts is forged, he continues, dabbing the tears from his eyes. "This is a tragedy for our hospital. I hope this scandal doesn't damage our reputation. We support the authorities' investigation and are providing them with all available information."
Fitradi says his hospital has nothing to do with the scam
Investigators from the provincial police in Banten interrogate doctors, forensic scientists and hospital personnel — and open a can of worms. It seem that at least 15 million rupiah have vanished into the pockets of hospital employees. So far, six of the families cheated have been identified. A forensic department employee and two people working with the emergency services have been arrested on suspicion of corruption. The authorities' investigation is ongoing.
Long jail sentences
It's nothing new in Indonesia for workers in public institutions to demand backhanders or issue illegal invoices. Traffic departments will only issue driving licenses within a reasonable time if you make an "extra payment." Teachers at public schools can be bribed to give out the answers to exam questions. President Joko Widodo has repeatedly promised to clamp down on rampant corruption. What is new is people cashing in on the misery of tsunami victims. If those accused are convicted, they could be facing life sentences; they'll certainly go to prison for at least four years.
Right now, though, for Jackson Sinaga, the arrests are of little interest. "I just hope that no more surviving relatives are swindled and met with such lack of empathy," he says. The Sinaga family has certainly lost all confidence in Serang District Hospital. Jackson's brother and sister, who were also badly injured in the tsunami, are no longer being treated at Serang, but at a hospital in Jakarta.
Outside authorities found several cells that featured modern bathrooms with hot showers, full-sized refrigerators, coffee makers, microwave ovens and stereo loudspeakers
Inmates at an Indonesian prison paid for luxury cells equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen TVs and private washrooms, anti-graft officials said, in the graft-riddled country's latest corruption scandal.
Jail staff allegedly took bribes of 200-500 million rupiah ($14,000-$35,000) from inmates to renovate cells and supply banned mobile phones or even let them temporarily leave prison, Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said.
Anti-graft agents arrested five people connected to the scandal at Sukamiskin prison, including inmates and the warden who got cash and a pair of vehicles to look the other way, it added.
A raid on Sunday turned up several cells that featured modern bathrooms with hot showers, full-sized refrigerators, coffee makers, microwave ovens and stereo loudspeakers, the KPK said.
"We apologise to the Indonesian people," Sri Puguh Budi Utami, the director general of Indonesia's prisons, told reporters late Sunday.
"We're very sorry that we still have not been able to maximise our monitoring systems."
A former tax official now serving time at Sukamiskin was once photographed watching a tennis tournament in Bali and had even travelled overseas on a fake passport when he was supposed to be in another jail.
Jail staff allegedly took bribes of 200-500 million rupiah ($14,000-$35,000) from
inmates to renovate cells and supply banned mobile phones or even let them
temporarily leave prison
The prison's other inmates include a former chief justice and ex-house speaker Setya Novanto, who was convicted in April of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes linked to the national roll-out of government ID cards.
They were not among the inmates or prison staff arrested Sunday.
Indonesian prisons are more commonly known for their poor conditions and outbreaks of violence.
But it is an open secret that the rich and powerful can buy luxury on the inside, prompting the government to warn last year that it would jail guards or other staff caught taking bribes from inmates in exchange for special treatment.
In one of the highest-profile cases, a businesswoman imprisoned for bribery had a cell with a spring mattress, couch, refrigerator, television and air conditioning -- and adjoining karaoke room.
As it became clear that Mahathir had won, supporters took to the streets waving flags of the opposition alliance (AFP Photo/Mohd RASFAN)
Malaysia's veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, 92, won a shock election victory Thursday, in a political earthquake that toppled the country's scandal-plagued premier and ousted a regime that has ruled for over six decades.
It was a stunning triumph that almost no one had predicted and ended the long hold on power of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has ruled Malaysia since its birth as an independent country.
The victory capped a dramatic political comeback for Mahathir, who previously ruled the country with an iron fist for 22 years, and came out of retirement to taken on Prime Minister Najib Razak after the leader became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal.
When he takes power, Mahathir will be the oldest prime minister in the world.
His victory spells big trouble for Najib -- Mahathir has vowed to bring him to justice over allegations that billions of dollars were looted from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which the scandal-plagued leader set up and oversaw.
But at a press conference, Mahathir vowed: "We are not seeking revenge. We want to restore the rule of law."
Mahathir's return to the political frontlines saw him throw in his lot with an opposition alliance filled with parties that he crushed while in power, and which includes jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim -- his former nemesis.
When he takes power, Mahathir Mohamad, 92, will be the oldest prime minister
in the world (AFP Photo/Manan VATSYAYANA)
As well as seizing control of the national government, several state legislatures across the country fell into opposition hands for the first time, including the highly symbolic bastion of Johor, the birthplace of Najib's party that was the lynchpin of the ruling coalition.
Official results from the Election Commission showed that Mahathir's opposition grouping Pakatan Harapan, along with an ally in the Borneo state of Sabah, had secured 115 parliamentary seats. 112 are needed to form a government. BN were on 79 seats with just a few left to count.
As it became clear that Mahathir had won, supporters took to the streets waving flags of the opposition alliance.
After polls closed earlier in the day, journalists had flocked to the headquarters of Najib's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the lynchpin in the ruling coalition -- but he failed to turn up to give a victory speech and the media were told to leave.
Huge numbers of voters earlier flocked to the polls across the country, despite Najib having called the election on a weekday in what critics said was a bid to keep turnout down.
The BN wipeout is a disaster for Najib, who had been under pressure to score an emphatic win after the government lost the popular vote for the first time at the last elections in 2013.
The controversy surrounding 1MDB has dogged Najib since the story exploded in 2015. Billions of dollars were allegedly stolen from the fund, which was set up and overseen by Najib. The leader and 1MDB deny any wrongdoing.
But in rural areas, the rising cost of living, which has hit poor Malays hard, was the main concern at the election particularly after the introduction of an unpopular sales tax in 2015.
Setya Novanto has been charged with embezzling Rp 574 billion ($42 million). (Antara Photo/Aprillio Akbar)
Jakarta.Antigraft officials said investigators had built a strong case against Setya Novanto, as they countered arguments by expert witnesses during a hearing on Monday (11/12).
Setya has filed again a pretrial motion with the South Jakarta District Court to clear him as a graft suspect. The same court ruled in late September that naming Setya as a suspect in July was "procedurally flawed" and the charges were invalid.
Three witnesses brought by Setya's lawyers to the court on Monday questioned the validity of evidence against him.
One of the witnesses, Mudzakir, a criminal law expert at the Islamic University of Indonesia (UII) in Yogyakarta, said the evidence against the former House of Representatives speaker was invalidated by the ruling.
According to him, the move to charge Setya again in late October was therefore based on "outdated evidence."
"It's similar to opening again an investigation that has been halted. If there's no new evidence, it can't be reopened," he said.
But a Constitutional Court ruling issued this year, cited by antigraft officials during the hearing, allows investigators to rely on evidence that was used against a suspect who has won a pretrial motion.
"A pretrial verdict shouldn't hamper investigators' efforts to handle a case," said Evi Laila Kholis, a member of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) legal bureau.
The evidence against Setya had also been "complemented," KPK officials said.
In the next days, the KPK is going to bring five witnesses to the South Jakarta District Court, whose ruling is expected on Thursday.
Setya has been charged with embezzling Rp 574 billion ($42 million) from the Rp 5.9 trillion procurement of national electronic identity cards (e-KTP) project. He can face 20 years in jail, if found guilty.
The graft case resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion state losses.
House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto has been hospitalized following a solo car crash on Thursday night (16/11), mere hours after making his first public statement regarding a warrant for his arrest in the e-KTP corruption case. (Antara Photo/ Sigid Kurniawan)
Jakarta. House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto has been hospitalized following a solo car crash on Thursday night (16/11), mere hours after making his first public statement regarding a warrant for his arrest in the so-called e-KTP corruption case.
Novanto has repeatedly failed to show up for questioning by antigraft investigators as a suspect in the case involving massive graft in the procurement of electronic national identity cards, or e-KTP. The project was mothballed in October 2015 following a series of problems, including a late start, technical glitches and officials demanding payments from residents to provide the ostensibly free service.
Novanto's lawyer Fredrich Yunadi confirmed that his client was admitted to Permata Hijau Hospital in South Jakarta. He said Novanto was unconscious and that he suffered from high blood pressure, in addition to a pre-existing heart condition.
"I received a call to meet him at the Metro TV studios. On my way [to Metro TV], his aide informed me that they had just been involved in an accident ... he [Novanto] was injured and immediately lost consciousness," Fredrich said.
The lawyer explained that Novanto intended to comply with a summons by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prior to the accident, but that this unfortunately prevented his client from doing so.
Fredrich said four internists are observing Novanto due to his "serious" medical condition, which will require his client undergoing a computed tomography, or MRI, test.
A few hours before the accident, Metro TV conducted a telephonic interview with the Golkar Party chairman, who denied allegations that he was trying to avoid questioning in the case.
"I have to respect the legal process I am facing now, and I always respect the process. I never fail [to comply with KPK summonses], because each of the three times I was summoned as a witness in the case against Anang, I submitted written statements. Today is my fourth summons," Novanto said, referring to Anang Sudihardjo, president director of Quadra Solution, one of the companies in a consortium that won a contract to procure the national identity cards for the government.
"This is my first summons as a suspect. I am surprised, because just after the first summons, while I was studying the legal matters for today, there was a plan to arrest me," he continued.
In early November, the KPK named Novanto a suspect in the case for a second time, based on allegations that he siphoned off Rp 574 billion ($42 million) from the Rp 5.9 trillion e-KTP project, which resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion in state losses.
"I never received money; it can be checked with the BPK [State Audit Agency] or the BPKP [State Finance and Development Surveillance Committee]," Novanto stressed.
He explained that he filed for a judicial review by the Constitutional Court of the 2002 Law on the KPK, including an article that allows the antigraft agency to question a suspect by disregarding procedures stipulated in other laws. Another article allows the KPK to request the immigration office to impose a travel ban on a graft suspect.
"I also took up legal protection measures with the president and other state agencies," he said, admitting that he reported KPK commissioners Agus Rahardjo and Saut Situmorang to the police for abuse of authority and using false documents to bar him from leaving the country.
Novanto's whereabouts were unknown when antigraft investigators showed up at his house in South Jakarta on Wednesday night. This prompted the KPK to warn the politician that he would be declared a fugitive from justice if he did not surrender himself to investigators.
Police said on Wednesday that they would assist the KPK in apprehending Novanto if requested to do so.
The Supreme Court turned down Gayus Tambunan`s appeal of the ruling on his bribery case linked to PT Surya Alam Tunggal (SAT) tax complaints and increased his jail sentence to 12 years.
"His sentence is increased to 12 years with a fine of Rp500 million or six months more in jail," appellate court judge Krisna Harahap said here on Wednesday when asked for his confirmation on the decision.
The sentence is two years longer than the earlier sentence made by the Higher Court.
The former tax official`s appeals trial was carried out by supreme court judges Artijo Alkotsar, Krisna Harahap and Syamsul Chaniago.
The first Gayus Tambunan case handled by the Supreme Court was linked to tax complaints filed by PT Surya Alam Tunggal.
Tambunan`s charges include giving or promising rewards to civil servants or state apparatus namely the chief of the Tangerang District Court Muchtadi Asnun (US$30,000) and other judges (US$10,000 each).
Other recipients include police members Arafat Enanie and Sri Sumartini respectively receiving US$2,500 and US$3,500 and his lawyer, Haposan Hutagalung Rp800 million and US$45,000.
Krisna said in the review of the case opinions emerged that tax is the biggest income source for the budget so that its collection must be intensified and extended.
"On the other hand any disruption in its collection will directly hinder development efforts that will in the end hurt the people." he said.
Any crime in tax restitution, he said, needs to be monitored closely as it will affect state income.
"He has no remorse and has even continued committing other crimes while his case is still being processed," he said.
JAKARTA,July 21 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian ruling political party, the Democrat Party, isscheduled to hold a two-day national congress Saturday following a high-profilecorruption allegation that implicating senior officials at the party asconfessed by the party's sacked treasurer to the media recently.
Allegationon the implication of Anas and several senior officials at the party in ahigh-profile corruption case rife in national media following the confession offormer party's treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin about it was televised nationwiderecently.
Nazaruddin,who is still at large after being declared a suspect in the corruption casethat was said masterminded by Anas, said Anas bought the votes from the party'scadres that made him seized the chairmanship in the party's congress heldNovember last year.
Nazaruddinalso said that the money used to buy the votes came from bribes provided bycontractors who were just awarded contracts to build national sport facilitiesin Bogor, West Java and dormitory building projects for the athletes contendingin the upcoming regional sport event of SEA Games scheduled in Jakarta andPalembang.
In thetestimony aired by local TV station MetroTV in the last two days, Nazaruddinsaid from his hideout that part of the money provided to buy the votes wasretrieved from the state budget funds.
Nazaruddinhas been declared a suspect by the country's anti-corruption commission forfixing all the project contracts to those contractors. He was suspected ofreceiving 13 percent of commission fee from total SEA Games athletes dormitoryproject that worth 200 billion rupiah (about 23 million U.S. dollars)
IndonesianPresident Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Democrat party's patron figure, hassummoned Anas and several party's senior officials regarding Nazaruddinconfession on Wednesday.
Butnone of them was willing to disclose the content of the meeting with thepresident who secured two maximum presidency periods with landslide votes in2004 and 2009 elections.
Discourseon possible chairmanship replacement in the upcoming congress rife in nationalmedia as an effort to save the party's image before running in 2014 elections.
Theparty would no longer nominate President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as he had hismaximum two presidency terms. The party has yet to find the correct figure tobe nominated as its presidential candidate in the elections.
TheDemocrat party was initially established to usher Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, aretired army general, to seize presidency.
Theparty gained massive votes in the last two elections, dominating the seats inthe parliament that assuring adequate backup to the president's policies inrunning the country.
Apolitical expert, Syamsuddin Haris, said earlier that the current high-profilecorruption scandal make the party risk losing significant votes in 2014election.
Hesaid that the corruption scandal has eroded the public's trust on PresidentYudhoyono's party that strongly voiced anti- corruption drive during theelection campaign.