Jakarta (ANTARA) - Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan answered the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK's) summons for questioning in corruption cases concerning the agreement on the cooperation contract to construct the Riau-1 Steam Power Plant (PLTU) against suspect, state electricity company PT PLN's ex-president director, Sofyan Basir.

Jonan, in a dark gray shirt and light brown pants reached the KPK building at around 8:45 a.m. local time on Friday, accompanied by several members of his staff. He chose to not respond to reporters over the examination.

This is the first time that Jonan had met the commission's summons after failing to be present on May 13, May 15, May 20, and May 27, 2019.

KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah remarked that the anti-graft body had obtained a letter signed by Acting Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources clarifying that Jonan was unable to be present for KPK's questioning on May 20 and 27, 2019, due to his agenda of visiting the United States and Japan yet to be completed.

The KPK also arrested Basir on Monday (May 27) after being examined for some four hours as a suspect.

Basir allegedly aided former House of Representatives' Commission VII members from the Golkar Party faction Eni Maulani Saragih and shareholders of Blackgold Natural Resources (BNR) Ltd. Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo in receiving a project cooperation contract worth US$900 million, equivalent to Rp12.8 trillion.

Basir was part of the meetings attended by Eni Maulani Saragih, Johannes Kotjo, and others, to include PT PLN's Independent Power Producer (IPP) project of the RIAU-1 Mining Power Plant (PLTU MT RIAU-1).

In 2016, in spite of Presidential Regulation Number 4 of 2016 on the Acceleration of Electricity Infrastructure Development being issued that assigned PT PLN to carry out Electricity Infrastructure Development (PIK), Basir allegedly appointed Johannes Kotjo to work on the Riau-1 PLTU project.

Thus, the Riau-1 PLTU, with a capacity of 2x300 MW, was included in the company's electricity provision plan. It was thereafter alleged that Basir notified one of the Directors of PT PLN that the "Power Purchase Agreement" (PPA) between PLN and Blackgold Natural Resources and China Huadian Engineering Co. (CHEC) will be realized soon.

In connection with this case, three people were awarded sentence including the former social minister, concurrently ex-secretary general of Golkar Party Idrus Marham, who was announced a three-year prison term in addition to a fine of Rp150 million, a subsidiary of two months in prison.

Eni Maulani Saragih, on March 1, 2019, was also sentenced to six years' imprisonment along with being fined Rp200 million, a subsidiary two-month prison term in addition to having to pay compensation of Rp5.87 billion and 40 thousand Singapore dollars.

In the meantime, the Jakarta High Court sentenced Johanes Budisutrisno Kotjo to 4.5 years' imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rp250 million, subsidiary six months in prison.

The KPK named PT Borneo Lumbung Energy and Metal (BLEM) boss Samin Tan a suspect for allegedly giving Rp5 billion to Eni Maulani Saragih.

Translator: Eliswan Azly
Editor: Sri Haryati
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