Sat, 29 Mar 2003

Lili's questioning to resume Monday

The controversial questioning of Public Servants' Wealth Audit Commission deputy chairman Lili Asdjudireja in relation to corruption allegations was cut short on Friday for medical reasons and will continue Monday.

Prosecutor Yoseph Nur Eddy, who leads the investigation, told reporters that Lili could only answer 10 of 60 written questions and asked for a delay. "But his answers do not touch on the substance of the case," he said on Friday.

Although the request for the delay was approved at 4 p.m., Lily, his lawyers and KPKPN members accompanying him eventually left the Central Jakarta Prosecutors' Office two hours later.

One of the lawyers, former senior prosecutor Gagoek Soebagyanto, told reporters that Lili suffered from a constriction to an artery near his heart and was still tired from his latest business trip to Surabaya.

The case centers on the disbursement of about Rp 6 billion (US$674,000) drawn from Bank Indonesia's Liquidity Loans (KLBI) and bridging funds from the Cikini branch of state-owned Bank Bumi Daya -- which has since merged to become part of state-owned Bank Mandiri -- in 1990 for plantation company PT Sebatin. Lili was the company's chief commissioner.

In the loan proposal signed by PT Sebatin's director William Bong, the money was supposed to be used to establish rubber and oil palm plantations on 5,000 hectares of land in Tanjung Aru, Pasir regency, East Kalimantan.

The prosecutors claim a recent tip-off from members of the public alleged the funds were embezzled because, as of 1997, the establishment of the plantation had not yet been realized.

However, sources close to the investigation say the probe was sparked after Lili told police about Attorney General M.A. Rachman's dubious ownership of a luxury mansion in Jakarta. The report drew strong public criticism against Rachman and put pressure on President Megawati Soekarnoputri to fire him, although she has refused to do so.

The office has denied it is engaged in a vendetta.