Political parties on Tuesday criticized the Corruption Eradication Commission’s (KPK) plan to send investigators to Washington to question World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati about the Bank Century bailout scandal.
“As a member of the House of Representatives commission [III] that oversees legal affairs, I oppose the plan,” lawmaker from Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Ahmad Basarah said on Tuesday. “KPK will not be able to get an objective explanation and instead the investigation result will be fabricated to benefit Sri Mulyani and her cronies.”
Ahmad said that the KPK should not waste its funds on arranging overseas transportation for two investigators.
“It will be wasting the KPK budget,” Ahmad said. “If Sri Mulyani doesn’t turn up after three summons, then it would make sense for the KPK investigators to go to the US and forcefully pick her up according to the law.”
Deputy chairman of Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party Fadli Zon said that he also opposed the plan.
“Even though she’s an official, it should be remembered there is principle stating all citizens shall be equal before the law, and shall be required to respect the law. That’s what the Constitution said,” Fadli said. “I’m sure Sri Mulyani won’t mind coming and meeting the KPK summoning and explaining what she knows about the Bank Century scandal.”
KPK chairman Abraham Samad recently announced that it would question Sri Mulyani in April in Washington. Abraham said that the antigraft agency is unable to force Sri Mulyani to come to Jakarta for questioning because she is busy as with her role at the World Bank.
Sri Mulyani has been blamed by the House of Representatives for illegally bailing out the collapsing Bank Century during her time as the Finance Minister. She was probed by the KPK in relation to the case in 2010.
The KPK has named Bank Indonesia’s former deputy governors Budi Mulya and Siti Chalimah Fadjrijah as suspects for abusing authority by giving the bank short-term loan facility in 2008.
Bank Century was created in 2004 as the result of a merger of three problematic lenders: Bank Pikko, Bank CIC and Bank Danpac. In 2008, the bank collapsed, but the government injected Rp 6.7 trillion ($717 million) to bail it out and bring its co-owner, Robert Tantular, to justice for siphoning off customers’ money.
Since then, the Indonesian government has taken over the bank and renamed it Bank Mutiara.