"My sympathy goes to Ustad (Islamic teacher) Dahlan in connection with the case he is facing. He was my old friend in Jawa Pos daily before joining a daily in Makassar," Kalla said at his office here on Friday.
Dahlan has been named the suspect by the East Java prosecutors office for approving and signing an agreement for the sale of assets belonging to the regional government-owned company PT Panca Wira Usaha, while he was the president director of the company from 2002 to 2004.
Kalla said he did not believe that Dahlan had done what he had been accused of, but would refer the case to the court.
"I do not believe Pak (Mr) Dahlan had an intention like that, but let them (the court) rule," he said.
Regarding Dahlans statement that he had been targeted by the government, Kalla said that he did not know who Dahlan meant. Dahlan was a former minister under former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY).
"I do not know whether Pak Dahlan is referring to the central government in Jakarta or the regional government in East Java. Let us refer to him. If it is Jakarta, I think it is impossible," he said.
Kalla said that although Dahlan had been one of the ministers of SBY in the presidential election 2014, he was also one of the team members supporting current President Joko Widodo.
"Do not forget Pak Dahlan was a minister during the SBY era, but he was also a successful team member (for Jokowi-JK). So it is impossible for officials here (in Jakarta) to do that," he said.
"I am not surprised on my arrest as a suspect. I have been a target of those in power," Dahlan said before leaving the office of the high prosecutors office, where he had been grilled for eight hours on Thursday and finally named suspect for detention at 5.30pm.
Dahlan was finally declared as the suspect after being questioned five times before.
"I only worked for the company and was not paid. I signed a document presented to me by a staff," he said.
Dahlan was the president director of the state-owned electricity company PLN before he was named the minister for state companies.
He used to be a journalist before he became a successful media businessman.(*)