Ex-CEO of Garuda named suspect in graft case

Mr Emirsyah, who is now the chairman of MatahariMall.com, has been linked to a bribery case involving Rolls-Royce engines.
Mr Emirsyah, who is now the chairman of MatahariMall.com, has been linked to a bribery case involving Rolls-Royce engines.

JAKARTA • Mr Moses Ompusunggu Emirsyah Satar, 57, was Indo- nesia's corporate poster boy for his ability to turn around several ailing companies.

His most noted legacy was his turnaround of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia from a backwater airline into a respected player.

He joined Garuda in 2005 and left in 2014 and is now the chairman of Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group's e-commerce platform MatahariMall.com.

Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), with help from Britain's Serious Fraud Office, has linked Mr Emirsyah to a bribery case involving Rolls-Royce engines. The investigations followed a US$808 million (S$1.1 billion) fine paid by the British engine-maker to the authorities in Britain, the United States and Brazil to settle bribery and corruption claims.

KPK said on Thursday that the former chief executive of Garuda was suspected of taking bribes related to the purchase of planes and machines from Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

The KPK did not refer to the former CEO by name but, as is its custom, used initials - in this case "ESA".

In a phone message to Reuters, Mr Emirsyah on Thursday denied wrongdoing but said that it was the right of the KPK to name him as a suspect and that he will respect the legal process.

"As far as I know, when I was the CEO of PT Garuda Indonesia, I had never done corrupt activities and I did not receive anything that was related to my position," he said.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Ms Sylviana Murni, a candidate for vice-governor in the Jakarta elections next month, yesterday went to a police station to answer questions in a graft probe involving funding meant for building a mosque and a local Boy Scouts group when she was Central Jakarta mayor.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2017, with the headline 'Ex-CEO of Garuda named suspect in graft case'. Print Edition | Subscribe