Tue, 23 Aug 1994

Trial of former Bapindo president to go on

JAKARTA (JP): The South Jakarta District Court yesterday ruled that the government prosecutors have a valid case against Subekti Ismaun, the former president of the government-owned Bank Pembangunan Indonesia, and ordered that the trial proceed.

Presiding judge Soedjatman overruled all objections raised by the lawyers of Subekti.

Subekti, 55, is being tried for corruption in connection with the Rp 1.3 trillion ($620 million) loan scandal at Bapindo. The government prosecutors said Subekti and other members of the board of directors should be held accountable for allowing the bank to lose such a huge sum in dealings with businessman Eddy Tansil.

Tansil, the owner of the Golden Key Group, was sentenced last week to 17 years in prison and ordered to pay Rp 500 billion in restitution and Rp 30 million in fines. A former deputy manager of Bapindo's branch in Jakarta, Maman Suparman, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for his role in helping Tansil swindle Bapindo of $448 million.

Subekti's lawyers have appealed to the court to throw away the charges against their client, saying that the most crucial decisions were apparently made by other directors.

Amir Syamsuddin, chief of Subekti's defense counsel, vehemently argued against the prosecutor's attempt to make the bank's directors collectively accountable although they are being tried separately.

Judge Soedjatman, as widely expected, said he found nothing untoward in the government's dossier.

"The charges are correct," he said. "I therefore rule to adjourn this hearing until Sept. 1 to proceed with testimony from witnesses."

He told the defense lawyers that their argument against the concept of collective responsibility is a matter to be contested during the trial.

He said each member of the board of directors will be fully responsible for his actions. "A director's decision in a directors' meeting determines whether he is guilty or not."

Towil Heryoto, another member of the board, is also being tried in the same court. Two other former directors, Sjahrizal and Bambang Kuntjoro, will be formally arraigned at Central Jakarta District Court today. All are being charged with corruption.


Subekti was on a holiday when the decision to continue to extend the loans to Tansil was made in June 1992 by the other directors in spite of their knowledge of the huge potential risks that such a decision entailed.

He has also insisted that he was not fully informed of the status of Tansil's account with the bank until much later and that he allowed the other directors to take care of the details.

Subekti however presided over the board when the first loans to Tansil were originally approved in 1989, apparently because he was carrying a letter of reference from Sudomo, then a powerful cabinet minister. He had already retired from the bank when the scandal unfolded early this year. (02)