Wed, 14 Jun 2000

Golkar criticizes Marzuki over handling of BI chief case

JAKARTA (JP): Censured by almost daily student demonstrations for the slow pace of investigation into several high profile corruption cases, Attorney General Marzuki Darusman is also coming under fire from his own party ranks.

Senior Golkar Party executives, of which Marzuki is a deputy chairman, lashed out at the Attorney General for his office's handling of the Bank Bali scandal which has implicated Central Bank Governor Sjahril Sabirin as a suspect.

The issue came to the fore during a party executive meeting late Monday night.

Agung Laksono, another Golkar Party deputy chairman verbally attacked Marzuki on Tuesday and demanded he resign from his post.

"Marzuki should choose between being the party's deputy chairman or the Attorney General. His dual responsibilities are only causing difficulties," Agung told journalists.

Agung maintained that Marzuki had besmirched the party by presenting an alleged ultimatum to Sjahril either to resign or be named a suspect in the multi-billion Bank Bali scandal which allegedly involves the funneling of funds to certain Golkar executives to help the re-election of former president B.J. Habibie last year.

Agung said by applying such pressure against Sjahril, Marzuki had violated the law and undermined the legal process.

"Golkar should be ashamed of Marzuki's maneuver which violates the party's program to uphold the law," he added.

Sources here on Tuesday said Monday's executive party meeting were split over the issue.

Separately on Tuesday, Golkar Party chairman Akbar Tandjung rejected the idea.

"There is no plan for it. Marzuki has conducted his job properly," Akbar told journalists.

He further noted that despite Marzuki being a Golkar Party member, it is up to President Abdurrahman Wahid when it comes to appointing and removing the Attorney General.

Akbar also rejected suggestions that investigations in the Bank Bali scandal would uncover involvement of several party executives.

"Golkar has nothing to do with the Bank Bali scandal," he asserted.

Many analysts believe Akbar would not tamper with the investigation since the scandal involves Golkar figures more often aligned with Habibie than Akbar himself. (jun)