Prosecutors have named former chief of the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) Syafruddin Temenggung as a suspect in the illegal sale of state assets, estimated to have caused losses of Rp 500 billion (US$51 million).
However, he has yet to be remanded in custody, Attorney General Abdulrahman Saleh said Friday. He said Syafruddin was charged with selling assets of sugar company PT Rajawali III in Gorontalo province in 2003 for Rp 84 billion, while their value was up to Rp 600 billion.
"Since Friday we have named him a suspect and also imposed a travel ban on him," said Attorney General's Office spokesman Mashyudi Ridwan.
The investigation into Syafruddin began in July 2005. The Attorney General's Office has questioned almost 15 IBRA officials linked to the corruption case.
IBRA was established in 1998 to restructure and sell more than RP 400 trillion in assets it took over from local banks after the government bailed them out amid the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. Proceeds from the asset sales were to be used to help finance the state budget.
IBRA was dissolved in April 2004 after improvement in the country's economy.
However, the prosecution of Syafruddin may be challenged by Presidential Decree No. 15/2004 on IBRA's dissolution, under which the President granted legal protection to all agency officials in the carrying out of their duties.
The decree also absolved IBRA officials of all responsibility if they committed mistakes in their reports to the government. In apparent defiance of the decree, the Attorney General said the investigation into the graft case would go ahead.
The office is also investigating other former IBRA officials in connection with the assets of convicted former banker David Nusa Wijaya, which were sold without the required permission of prosecutors as the executor in the case.
David, a former director of the now defunct Bank Umum Servitia, received Rp 1.291 trillion in Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support, which became a nonperforming loan.
The Attorney General's Office confiscated his assets. David later fled the country, living in Singapore and the U.S. He was returned by U.S. authorities to Indonesian police custody last month.
Officials also interrogated Hesti, the IBRA employee responsible for David's assets, and planned to summon other IBRA officials as part of their investigation.
The Jakarta Post
February 04, 2006