Golkar party chair no longer graft suspect

JAKARTA • Mr Setya Novanto, the embattled Speaker of Parliament and Golkar party chairman, was yesterday cleared as a suspect in a multimillion-dollar corruption probe.

In July, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) had named Mr Setya a suspect in the embezzlement of some 2.3 trillion rupiah (S$232 million) from the state's coffers more than seven years ago.

The funds were earmarked for a national project to implement the e-KTP system, or kartu tanda penduduk - an identity card that was supposed to be issued to Indonesians aged 17 and older in 2009.

South Jakarta District Court judge Cepi Iskandar yesterday said the court approved Mr Setya's pre-trial motion challenging his status as a suspect in the case. "We declare invalid the suspect status against Setya Novanto dated July 17, 2017," the judge said.

KPK legal bureau head, Mr Setiadi, said the agency would study the verdict and hold a meeting with commissioners and investigators on the next step for the anti-graft body to take.

The KPK started investigating the project in 2014, saying it could be the largest graft scandal in Indonesia's history. At least 37 high-profile Members of Parliament are said to have received millions of dollars in kickbacks from deals linked to the supply of e-KTP.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2017, with the headline 'Golkar party chair no longer graft suspect'. Print Edition | Subscribe