Jokowi appoints Pandjaitan as acting maritime affairs,fishery minister

Jokowi appoints Pandjaitan as acting maritime affairs,fishery minister

Edhy Prabowo (left) ANTARA FOTO/Indrianto Eko Suwarso/pras.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) appointed Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan to serve as acting maritime affairs and fishery minister after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested Edhy Prabowo.

"Mr Minister (Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan) received a letter signed by State Secretary Pratikno," spokesman for the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment Jodi Mahardi stated in Jakarta on Thursday.

President Jokowi respects the legal process of the anti-graft body's probe into Edhy Prabowo's bribery case.

Edhy Prabowo, a top cadre of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) in the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin administration's cabinet line-up, was apprehended shortly after arriving at the Soekarno Hatta International Airport from his Honolulu trip on early Wednesday.

Edhy Prabowo was arrested along with 16 other people, including his wife Iis Rosita Dewi, over an alleged bribery case in permit issuance for aquaculture and/or fishing businesses and marine commodities in 2020.

The KPK investigators have named seven of the 17 people arrested as suspects. Five of the seven suspects, including Edhy Prabowo, were detained at the anti-graft body's prison from November 25 to December 14, 2020.

The four suspects detained are Maritime Affairs and Fishery Ministry's Special Staff and Deputy Head of the Due Diligence Team Safri; Siswadi from PT ACK; Ainul Faqih, a staff member of Edhy Prabowo's wife; and Director of PT DPP Suharjito.

Meanwhile, KPK Deputy Chief Nawawi Pomolango noted that two other figures named suspects by the KPK investigators had yet to be detained as of Wednesday evening.

In its place, the suspects -- Andreau Pribadi Misata, the minister's special staff and head of the due diligence team, and Amiril Mukminin -- were ordered to surrender, Pomolango remarked.

In this bribery case, Edhy Prabowo, Safri, Misata, Siswadi, Faqih, and Mukminin were allegedly the recipients, while Suharjito had supposedly bribed them.

The investigators accused Edhy Prabowo of having received Rp9.8 billion and US$100 thousand and charged him and the other suspects over violation of Articles 12 and 11 of Law No. 31 of 1999, as amended by the 2001 Corruption Law; juncto Articles 55 and 64 of the Criminal Code.

The KPK investigators charged Suharjito for violating Articles 5 and 13 of Law No. 31 of 1999, as amended by the 2001 Corruption Law; juncto Articles 55 and 64 of the Criminal Code.

Edhy Prabowo's bribery case is perceived as a tragic blow to Prabowo Subianto, currently the defense minister in the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin administration, and his Great Indonesia Movement (Gerinda) Party, considering his strong fight against corruption.

ANTARA noted that during his campaign trail of last year's presidential elections, Presidential candidate number 02 Prabowo Subianto repeatedly echoed his pledge to fight corruption fiercely to build a just and prosperous Indonesia.

"Our people are tired of corruption and of being unfairly treated. Why? Because much of Indonesia's wealth has been taken out of the country," he told his supporters thronging the Karang Pale field of Mataram City on March 26, 2019, to listen to his campaign speech.

Hence, if he were to win the presidential elections and become the Indonesian president, he would build a corruption-free government for bringing justice and prosperity to the people at large, Prabowo, the founder of Gerindra, stated.

Related news: KPK detains maritime affairs and fishery minister over bribery case

Related news: Government respects legal process at KPK: President

However, he was defeated by incumbent President Joko Widodo in the presidential elections despite his appointment as defense minister, while another Gerindra cadre, Edhy Prabowo, was appointed as the maritime affairs and fishery minister.