Tue, 06 Mar 2001

Ginandjar questioning in graft case set for March 15

JAKARTA (JP): The Attorney General's Office has summoned former minister of mines and energy Ginandjar Kartasasmita and his successor Ida Bagus Sudjana for questioning over their suspected roles in graft cases which took place during their tenures.

Deputy Attorney for Special Crimes Bachtiar Fachri Nasution said on Monday that his investigators expected Ginandjar, who is still on a lecture program overseas, to appear for the session on March 15.

"We sent the summonses to the two suspects last Friday. To ensure Ginandjar receives his summons, we sent them with the help of the foreign ministry, our embassy in the U.S., his family and his lawyer Muchyar Yara," Bachtiar told journalists.

By procedure, a witness or a suspect must appear for questioning at least three days after receiving a summons.

Attorney General Marzuki Darusman said his office has allowed a longer delay for Ginandjar because the latter is attending a visiting fellowship program at Boston-based Harvard University, which is due to end in July.

Speaking to the media at his office after the observance of Idul Adha (Islamic Day of Sacrifice), Marzuki said he had also asked Golkar Party chairman Akbar Tandjung to aide in enabling the questioning of Ginandjar to materialize as soon as possible.

Ginandjar serves as vice speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly representing Golkar.

"Akbar said he had suggested to Ginandjar to come home for the legal proceedings," Marzuki said.

Ginandjar has repeatedly said that he can only give a written testimony to the office before his return home.

Ginandjar is suspected of illegally approving four contracts between state oil and gas company Pertamina and private oil company PT Ustraindo Petro Gas in early 1992 and 1993, causing US$18 million in losses to the state.

Sudjana is suspected of abusing his power by approving amendments to the contracts for oil development in the still active oil fields, resulting in a total of $6.8 million in state losses.


On the case of former president Soeharto, Marzuki ensured his office's nonintervention in arranging the schedule and technical matters in the treatment of Soeharto, a defendant in a $571 million corruption case.

"Whether Soeharto has to be hospitalized is up to the state- appointed team of physicians from Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM)...we're not going to interfere with their decisions," Marzuki said.

"However, I have asked for help from Minister of Health and Social Welfare Achmad Sujudi and he said he will contact the RSCM management regarding the plan to treat Soeharto or to admit him to one of the state-run hospitals in the capital."

Marzuki confirmed that although Soeharto's family prefer home treatment for the former ruler, the final say is in the hands of RSCM medical team in accordance with the Supreme Court's ruling issued last month.

The Court has ordered state prosecutors to undertake Soeharto's medical treatment until he is declared fit to stand trial.

Soeharto, who will turn 80 in June, has suffered three strokes since resigning in the middle of 1998. (bby)