Anything happening in Jakarta? Seems like every post you make is about US politics or something happening in the US. I'd be interested to know about what's going on in your neck of the woods.
Why yes we do have our own version of the US Congress here but me as an American here in the land of Milk & Honey, I don't get involved........
Crime of Passion over Sexy Caddie?
Political machinations ahead of Julyâ€™s presidential election have dominated the news over recent weeks. But all that crap about Kalla-Wiranto and whether Megawatiâ€™s daughter Puan will become Prabowo Subiantoâ€™s running mate is now being overshadowed by a massive scandal.
This big news is that Antasari Azhar, the countryâ€™s top anti-graft official
, is suspected of masterminding the recent murder of Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, the director of a state-owned pharmaceutical company.
The Attorney Generalâ€™s Office on Friday (1/5/09) named Antasari a suspect, but police on Saturday said he is only classified as a witness at this stage.
Antasari and Nasrudin were reported to have first met while discussing a corruption case and then became golfing buddies. Golf courses have long been a favored location for corrupt state prosecutors, court officials and corruption suspects to negotiate bribes without fear of being bugged.
There are conflicting claims over the motive for the killing: Some reports say Nasrudin was killed to prevent him from testifying in a corruption case. Others claim the murder was a crime of passion because Antasari and Nasrudin were screwing the same young female golf caddie. Reports have described the caddie as Nasrudinâ€™s â€śthird wifeâ€ť although apparently the two were not officially married. There is talk that Nasrudin had filmed Antasari having sex with the caddy and had threatened to release the footage. Another version is that the killing was conducted with the sole aim of making Antasari a suspect because powerful people feared his anti-corruption investigations.
The media has said those involved in the murder included Antasari, as well as Sigid Haryo Wibisono (a former Golkar Party official and owner of the Harian Merdeka newspaper), a military figure (or a thug-for-hire) who served in East Timor and a senior police officer.
Hereâ€™s some background on the case:
He is scum. He was controversially made head of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in December 2007 after a tarnished career as a state prosecutor the Attorney Generalâ€™s Office. When former dictator Suhartoâ€™s youngest son Tommy was sentenced to 18 monthsâ€™ in jail for corruption in 2000, it was Antasariâ€™s job to take Tommy to jail. Antasari instead allowed Tommy to go into hiding. Antasari has been accused of allowing other villains to get away with corruption. He is reported to have handed out bribes to journalists. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono did not personally appoint Antasari as head of KPK. Instead he was â€śelectedâ€ť to the job by parliamentâ€™s 49-member commission on law and legal affairs. His election was due to intensive lobbying by Golkar and PDIP, which presumably wanted a pliable person at the helm of KPK. Since taking on the job, Antasari has led a series of investigations into corrupt prosecutors at the Attorney Generalâ€™s Office, causing much embarrassment and shame.
Thus the Attorney Generalâ€™s Office was quick to declare Antasari a murder suspect, even though under the Indonesian legal system, the police and the KPK have the authority to declare people to be suspects (whereas the Attorney Generalâ€™s Office is supposed to formally charge suspects with crimes, based on police recommendations). Regardless, Antasari has had to temporarily step down from his position pending the investigation. The Attorney General's Office has instructed Immigration to ban him from leaving the country.
Originally from Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province. He was the president director of PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran (PRB), a pharmaceutical subsidiary of PT Mitra Rajawali Banjaran, which is itself a subsidiary of state-owned PT Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia (RNI). RNI is involved in the agricultural, pharmaceutical, trade and distribution sectors. According to a report in The Jakarta Globe, Nasrudin was appointed head of PRB for political reasons and had no prior experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He was shot in the head on March 14 and died the following day.
Nasrudin had two wives. The first, named Sri Martuti, lives in Bekasi with their one child. The second wife (whom he married in 1999) is named Arinda Irawati and lives in Tangerang with their two children. In addition to the two wives, Nasruddin was rumored to have taken a sexy young golf caddie as his third wife. More on her a bit further down.
He was the finance director of PRBâ€™s holding company, RNI. He arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on January 8, 2009, for allegedly embezzling Rp4.5 billion ($376,000) in proceeds from the refined sugar import monopoly controlled by RNI in cooperation with the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) over 2001-04. Ranendra's trial commenced on March 30 at the Anti-Corruption Court in Jakarta.
Rhani Juliani: The Sexy Caddie
Several reports have claimed that 22-year-old Rhani is Nasrudinâ€™s third wife, though other reports say the two were never married. Rhani worked first as a caddie and then as a â€śmarketing officerâ€ť at Modernland Golf Course in Tangerang, Banten province. She was expensive and had many bookings, mostly by state officials, who were known to tip generously. Some of the courseâ€™s top caddies could charge up to Rp500,000 for a round (of golf), but Rhani was the most expensive, able to charge Rp1 million. Nasrudin was a member of Modernland Golf Course. Antasari also often played there.
Rhani left the golf course last year, apparently after Nasrudin offered to look after her financially. Nasrudin was close to Raniâ€™s family and last year invited them on a holiday to Bali. Nasrudin funded Raniâ€™s studies at the Raharja Institute of Information Management and Computers in Tangerang.
Not much has been seen of Rhani since her sugar daddy was murdered. She and her parents have moved out of the family house in Tangerang. Rhani reportedly scarpered to Serang to stay with her grandparents. She had been questioned by police a few times in March after the killing.
Nasrudinâ€™s brother Andi Syamsuddin said police should question the victimâ€™s two wives â€“ not because he suspected them â€“ but because they must know something. He said Nasrudin had confided in him that he was worried about PRBâ€™s â€śworsening plightâ€ť, so the family suspected that someone senior in the parent company might be involved in the murder.
No doubt Nasrudin would have upset a few people if he had been cooperating with KPK investigators examining the corruption in RNI. The RNI sugar monopoly embezzlement case was initially handled by the police, who never handed it over to prosecutors. The case moved forward only when the KPK took over. The case is the first of three handled by KPK involving RNI, and the only one to reach the prosecution stage thus far.
In 2005, then State-Owned Enterprises Minister Sugiharto reported to the KPK that RNI and its subsidiaries had embezzled more than Rp60 billion in funds.
In 2003, RNI and two of its subsidiaries â€” a money courier service and a health product importer â€” were reported by the Health Ministry to the police and the KPK for allegedly embezzling Rp520 billion out of Rp580 billion in funds the ministry had disbursed over a period of five years.
Some reports have said Nasrudin was to have appeared as a witness in Ranendraâ€™s trial. But why would Nasrudin know about the embezzlement involving the sugar imports? Other reports said he knew about the corruption case involving the Health Ministry. RNI officials denied Nasrudin was on the list of witnesses summoned by the KPK.
Antasari Azhar has said Nasrudin had been providing KPK with information on several corruption cases, including the case of Ranendra and the sugar imports.
Brief Chronology of the Killing & Arrests
March 14: Nasrudin Zulkarnaen goes to Modernland Golf Course in Tangerang, Banten province. He plays only two holes before calling his driver at about 2pm and telling him they have to go to his office in Kuningan, Jakarta. Nasrudin gets into the back of the BMW, which starts to drive away. Two men on a Yamaha Scorpio motorbike approach the car as it leaves the main gate; one of the men produces a gun, aims at the window and shoots twice, hitting Nasruddin in the head.
March 15: After being in a coma for 22 hours, Nasrudin dies at Gatot Subroto Army Hospital in Central Jakarta. His two wives then accompany his body on a flight to Makassar for his funeral the next day.
April 27: Jakarta Police arrest the suspected killer, identified only by his initials as D.A.N., at Tanjung Priok Port, North Jakarta. Under interrogation D.A.N. reveals the names of four other people allegedly involved in the killing. Police subsequently arrest these four, who were identified as H.E.R., H.E.N., F.R.A.N. and A.M. They gave police the name of another alleged conspirator, identified only as E.D.
Police said D.A.N., H.E.R., H.E.N., F.R.A.N. and A.M. were assigned as â€śfield operativesâ€ť for the killing and the only person they knew in the chain of command was E.D., who had given them orders.
Police arrest E.D., who gives them another name up the chain of command: J.E.
April 29: Police arrest J.E. at dawn at Bumi Serpong Damai in Tangerang. Interrogation of J.E. leads police to another suspect, Sigid Haryo Wibisono (the former head of Golkar Party's Central Java chapter and owner of Harian Merdeka newspaper), who is arrested in Blok A, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta. Sigid names another suspect: a former district police chief of Jakarta identified as W.
April 30: Police arrest W. at night at a karaoke bar in Tangerang. Under interrogation, W. tells police the brains behind the murder is Antasari Azhar.
Antasariâ€™s lawyer, Ari Yusuf Ami, is denying his client was involved in a love triangle with Nasrudin and Rhani Juliani. He dismissed such claims as slander. Asked to comment on allegations that Antasari had sent a threatening SMS to Nasrudin prior to the murder, Ari said it has not been proved the SMS came from Antasari. The text of the SMS was "you know the risk".
The lawyer said Antisari regretted the move by the Attorney Generalâ€™s Office to declare him a suspect. He said his client is staying at his home in Bumi Serpong Damai for the moment and on Monday will go to Jakarta Police Headquarters for questioning.
The head of Antasariâ€™s legal team, Juniver Girsang, said the KPK leaderâ€™s family doesnâ€™t believe he was involved in the murder. The family believes there has been an elaborate plot to discredit Antasari.
Meanwhile, police say they are still looking for two suspects in the murder case. And a lawyer for six of the arrested suspects has denied rumors that his clients are East Timorese.
What Really Happened?
(The following is all speculation and guess-work). Someone went to a lot of effort to kill Nasrudin. Which makes it unlikely the killing was some kind of spontaneous crime of passion. Detikcom has quoted an anonymous law enforcer as saying that Nasrudin was ambitious and wanted to advance his career in state-owned enterprises, so he lobbied KPK (specifically Antasari) to reveal the corruption of his superiors in RNI. The source said Nasrudin used Rhani as "bait" to entrap Antasari. In other words, Nasrudin encouraged Rhani to screw Antasari (and Nasrudin presumably got evidence of their tryst) and then threatened to publicly expose Antasari if the corruption case did not proceed. But Anatasari could not continue with the case because RNI had been funding a major political party (presumably Golkar) to which Antasari himself was indebted. Thus Antasari was in a dilemma - risk prosecuting the company/party that he owed, or risk having his tryst with the caddie exposed. Antasari informed a businessman friend - Sigid Haryo Wibisono (the Golkar guy) - of his problem. Sigid then got in touch with another businessman and a police officer (with the initials W.W.), and the plan was hatched to murder Nasrudin.
Given the high stakes, Nasrudin's brother has urged police to guarantee the safety of the two detained hitmen, due to fears they could be killed (or given death threats) to cover the tracks of the masterminds.