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Former Indonesian Minister of Agriculture and two aides charged with corruption

Indonesia’s KPK launches a corruption probe in the Ministry of Agriculture, implicating ex-Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo and subordinates.

Earlier, KPK searched Limpo’s central Jakarta residence and the Ministry of Agriculture’s office, uncovering significant evidence, including around 30 billion Indonesian Rupiah (approximately US$1.91 million) in cash and financial transaction documents.

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INDONESIA: The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) of Indonesia has officially announced the initiation of a corruption case investigation within the Ministry of Agriculture, involving the former Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, and two of his subordinates.

These two implicated subordinates are Kasdi Subagyono, who serves as the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture, and Muhammad Hatta, the Director of Agricultural Tools and Machinery within the same ministry.

The Deputy Chairman of the KPK, Johanis Tanak, stated that the KPK had previously received complaints regarding alleged corruption within the Ministry of Agriculture.

These reports were thoroughly investigated and subsequently escalated to the investigation stage after the commission confirmed the presence of sufficient evidence.

“We have gathered enough evidence to proceed with the investigation, resulting in the designation and announcement of Syahrul Yasin Limpo as a suspect,” Tanak declared during a press conference at the KPK’s Red and White Building in South Jakarta on Wednesday (11 Oct).

This suspect designation aligns with previous information from the KPK, indicating that they have been examining three clusters of alleged corruption within the Ministry of Agriculture.

However, while three individuals were designated as suspects, only Kasdi Subagyono was placed under arrest. Subagyono’s arrest followed a nine-hour interrogation at the Merah Putih Building.

According to the schedule, the investigators had planned to question Syahrul Yasin Limpo and Muhammad Hatta on the same day.

Still, both requested a postponement of their interrogations due to the need to visit their parents in their respective hometowns.

“There has been confirmation from the two suspects that they cannot attend today. The first reason is that their mother-in-law is ill, and the second reason is that they are visiting their parents in South Sulawesi,” stated a KPK representative.

Separately, Syahrul Yasin Limpo could not attend the questioning on Wednesday and requested a rescheduling from the KPK, citing his mother’s illness in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

It’s noteworthy that Syahrul Yasin Limpo has also initiated a pre-trial lawsuit at the South Jakarta District Court.

The lawsuit aims to determine the validity of his suspect designation and has been registered under the case number: 14/Pid.Pra/2023/PN JKT.SEL.

The case’s classification revolves around the legitimacy of suspect designation. Djuyamto, the Public Relations Officer of the South Jakarta District Court, confirmed this development on Wednesday (11 Oct).

As of now, the South Jakarta District Court’s Public Service Information System (SIPP) webpage does not display any information regarding this request.

The case will be presided over by sole judge Alimin Ribut Sujono, with the first hearing scheduled for 30 October.

Money laundering, extortion, and gratification charges leveled against suspects

The KPK has charged Syahrul, Hatta, and Kasdi using Article 12, letters “e” and “b” of the Republic of Indonesia Law Number 31 of 1999 concerning the Eradication of Corruption Criminal Acts, as amended by the Republic of Indonesia Law Number 20 of 2001 regarding Amendments to Law Number 31 of 1999 concerning the Eradication of Corruption Criminal Acts.

These charges encompass extortion, gratification, and money laundering within the legal processes of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Throughout this investigation, the KPK conducted searches at Syahrul Yasin Limpo’s official residence on Widya Chandra Street, Central Jakarta, and the Ministry of Agriculture’s office in South Jakarta a while back.

The KPK seized several pieces of evidence believed to be related to the case, including an alleged 30 billion Indonesian Rupiah (approximately US$1.91 million) in cash and documents indicating financial transactions.

Additionally, Syahrul’s residence on Pelita Raya Street in Makassar was also searched, resulting in the seizure of a vehicle believed to be connected to the case.

Furthermore, the KPK has restricted Syahrul Yasin Limpo, as well as other individuals, including his spouse, children, and grandchildren, from travelling abroad for a period of six months, until April 2024.

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