Sat, 13 May 2000

IBRA not involved in Bank Bali scandal: Glenn

JAKARTA (JP): Former chairman of the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) Glenn M.S. Yusuf testified on Thursday that the agency was not involved in a January 1999 cessie contract between factoring firm PT Era Giat Prima (EGP) and Bank Bali.

"IBRA was not involved in the cessie contract as the deal was made on Jan. 11, 1999, when the bank was still active and was yet to be handed over from the Central Bank (BI) to IBRA," Glenn said in a hearing at the South Jakarta District Court, presided over by judge Soedarto.

"Therefore, it was beyond IBRA's authority to make such a deal," he testified at the trial of Djoko S. Tjandra, the main defendant in the high profile Bank Bali scandal.

Djoko was also present at the hearing, accompanied by his lawyer O.C. Kaligis.

In his testimony, Glenn also said that the cessie contract was executed by EGP and Bank Bali before the bank was closed at the end of 1998.

He said Rudy Ramli, then the bank's president director, held several meetings at the end of 1998 with the defendant and Setya Novanto, both executives of EGP, asking them for assistance through EGP to recoup the bank's funds, which had been borrowed by, among others, Bank Dagang Nasional Indonesia (BDNI).

BDNI had been closed down by government due to its poor financial record.

Representing Bank Bali, Djoko took the initiative to request a loan disbursement from IBRA in March 1999, but the agency rejected the request due to technicalities, including the bank's failure to meet the deadline for submitting a request to IBRA.

After a series of meetings with senior government officials, EGP and the bank's executives, IBRA finally disbursed the funds in June 1999.

Djoko and Setya Novanto, who was also treasurer of the Golkar Party, were then given Rp 546 billion as commission for assisting Bank Bali in recovering the funds.

The Bank Bali scandal centers around the transfer of the Rp 546 billion fund to PT EGP as a commission for services in assisting the bank to recoup Rp 904 billion in interbank loans guaranteed by the government.

Judge Soedarto adjourned the hearing until Monday to hear testimonies from other witnesses. (asa)