Wed, 24 Aug 1994

Two more Bapindo directors arraigned over loan scam

JAKARTA (JP): Two more former Bapindo directors were arraigned in court yesterday in connection with the massive loan scandal at the government-owned bank.

Sjahrizal and Bambang Kuntjoro were formally charged with corruption during two separate hearings at the Central Jakarta District Court.

They were held responsible, individually or collectively, with other members of the bank's board of directors for allowing Bapindo to lose US$448 million in its dealings with businessman Eddy Tansil.

The government prosecutors said the defendants had improperly used their positions in the bank to allow Tansil to cash in on his loans in violation of standard banking procedures.

Sjahrizal, 59, and Bambang, 53, were members of the Bapindo board of directors when the loans in question were extended between 1989 and 1993. Two other board members, Towil Heryoto and Subekti Ismaun, are currently being tried at the South Jakarta District Court.

A fifth former director, Adi Sugondho, has not been charged apparently because he not as extensively involved as the other four.

Tansil, owner of the Golden Key Group, was sentenced last week to 17 years of imprisonment and ordered to pay Rp 500 billion in restitution and Rp 30 million in fines. He is appealing against the verdict to the Jakarta High Court. Maman Suparman, a former deputy manager of Bapindo's Jakarta branch was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for his role in the scam.

The government prosecutors said yesterday that the loan scandal affected the performance of the Indonesian economy. This justified their decision to pursue the case under the 1971 anti- corruption law.

Prominent role

Both men, in their capacity as the bank's directors, played a prominent role in approving the loans and later in changing the terms of the loans which permitted Tansil to personally cash in on the money -- instead of his foreign suppliers as intended in the original loan application.

Ridwan Moekiat, the chief prosecutor in Sjahrizal's trial, said the directors even disbursed the loans before Tansil signed the credit agreements and opened the deposit accounts as required.

S.T. Silangit is the chief prosecutor in Bambang's trial.

Judges Sihol Sitompul and Partoso are presiding the trials of Sjahrizal and Bambang respectively.

In the meantime, Sjahrizal and Bambang have retained the services of Harjono Tjitrosoebono and Hotma Sitompoel respectively, considered to be the country's leading lawyers. They will have their chance to read their defense statements on Monday. (02)