Fri, 03 Jan 2003

Police start investigating Rachman's corruption case

Moch. N. Kurniawan, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Police started questioning on Thursday members of the Public Servant's Wealth Audit Commission (KPKPN) as witnesses in an inquiry into allegations of corruption involving Attorney General M. A. Rachman.

Their questioning is the first visible sign that police are finally investigating Rachman's corruption case reported by KPKPN in December.

KPKPN members summoned by police as witnesses on Thursday included Rudjuan Dartono, who led KPKPN's audit team that examined Rachman's wealth and assets report, Soekotjo Soeparto, Lili Asdjudiredja, Winarno Zein, and Petrus Selestinus.

Soekotjo said the police summons was actually addressed to KPKPN chairman Yusuf Syakir, but Yusuf asked the audit team to answer the summons.

He said the questioning session was aimed at following up KPKPN's report that Rachman had concealed some of his assets in his wealth report.

"Our report has become the initial evidence for the police to disclose the truth over Rachman's wealth report," he said.

"Now the police have started to develop Rachman's case, and we're glad about it."

According to him, police raised 23 of 40 planned questions for Rudjuan, while other KPKPN members only accompanied Rudjuan.

"The remainder of the questions will be asked tomorrow (Friday)," he said.

Meanwhile, Petrus said KPKPN brought a number of documents as evidence to police during questioning.

The evidence included Rachman's wealth report, testimonies from former staff of the Attorney General's Office Kito Irkhami, Najib Attamimi, Husein Tanoto and Suryo Tanoto, he said.

Expert testimony by Afrizal was also presented to police, Petrus said.

KPKPN reported Rachman to the police in December last year after the commission found discrepancies between Rachman's wealth report and its field inquiry.

Rachman, for example, did not list in his wealth report a luxury house worth around Rp 5 billion located at Jl. Penida 10, Graha Cinere housing complex in Limo district, Depok, West Java.

The commission also found that the attorney general failed to clarify the source of his bank deposits that totaled Rp 800 million.

Public demands have grown for Rachman to relinquish his post, but he has always maintained his innocence.

President Megawati Soekarnoputri, who has the authority to appoint or remove an attorney general, has refused to dismiss Rachman, saying that firing him would not resolve the problem and that the case was politically motivated.