KPK questions PKS`s legal council chairman Hilmi

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) questioned on Thursday Hilmi Aminuddin, chairman of the Prosperous Justice Party`s Legal Council, over the Agriculture Ministry`s beef import bribery scandal.

He arrived at the KPK building at 8.50 am and directly entered the building without giving any press statement to reporters who had been waiting for him.

KPK Spokesman Johan Budi said that Hilmi was questioned by the anti-graft body in his capacity as a witness for Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq (LHI), former chairman of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), and Ahmad Fathanah (AH), Luthfi`s close friend.

"Hilmi Aminuddin is questioned as a witness for suspects AF and LHI," said Johan Budi here on Thursday.

The questioning is the second time after the first one on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. During the questioning Hilmi was asked to listen to a phone conversation of AF with someone.

"The recoded voices were all played but were bluffing, please ask the investigators about it," Hilmi said after being questioned for about six hours on Tuesday.

According to Zainuddin Paru, Hilmi`s lawyer who is also PKS`s legal division representative, the voice in the recording belonged to Fathanah talking to a person who at will mentioned the name of Hilmi`s son Ridwan Hakim.

"He said: `Ridwan is here the son of Hilmi`. About this, the investigators asked whether Hilmi recognized the voices. Hilmi said he only recognized the voice of Fathanah," said Zainuddin on Tuesday.

At the anti-corruption court on Thursday it was revealed that Fathanah had said to PT Indoguna Utama President Director Maria Elizabeth Liman that PKS`s functionaries, including Hilmi, had agreed to assist Indoguna in securing additional beef import quota on condition that Indoguna also had the commitment to assisting PKS.

It was mentioned that Fathanah informed the results of a meeting in Lembang (West Java) --which according to Fathanah was attended by Lutfi Hasan Ishaaq, Helmi Aminuddin, Ahmad Fathanah and Agriculture Minister Suswono -- which agreed that Elizabeth Liman would be helped in her effort to obtain additional beef import quota and in this case, Suswono would learn the situation and condition.

In the same court hearing, Ridwan Hakim was even mentioned to have met with Elda Devianne Adiningrat, former chairman of the Indonesian Seed Association (Asbenindo), who was alleged a bribe broker with Fathanah, in Kuala Lumpur to assure the additional beef import quota.

Hilmi and Ridwan were known to have a cattle ranch on a 4-hectare plot of land in Cibodas, West Java, with a total of 1,000 head of cows.

In the beef import scandal, the KPK has named and arrested five suspects, Juard Effendi, Arya Abdi Effendi (both are directors of beef importer PT Indoguna Utama), Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq (former president of the Prosperous Justice Party), his close friend Ahmad Fathanah and Maria Elizabeth Liman, president director of PT Indoguna Utama.

The anti-graft body also confiscated as evidence a cash of Rp1 billion, put in black crinkle paper bag. The money was a down payment of a commitment fee worth Rp40 billion pledged for the issuance of a permit to import 8,000 tons of beef by PT Indoguna Utama.

Juard and Arya were arrested by the KPK on Tuesday (Jan 29) at Arya`s house in Cakung, East Jakarta after handing over Rp1 billion to Ahmad Fathanah at the PT Indoguna Utama building. Ahmad Fathanah himself was arrested at Le Meredien Hotel in Jakarta.

(SYS/A014/S012)

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