Yes, he has been summoned for questioning as a witness."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Thursday questioned I Ketut Wiryadinata, special staff member of Jero Wacik, energy and mineral resources minister, who has been named a suspect in an alleged extortion case.

"Yes, he has been summoned for questioning as a witness," Priharsa Nugraha, head of KPKs Information and Media Publication Affairs, reported here on Thursday.

I Ketut Wiryadinata is known to be a close friend of Jero Wacik since they were young and has been Jero Waciks special staff member since 2006, when Wacik was the minister for tourism and culture.

The website of the Bandung-based Institute of Technology (ITB) had published on August 16, 2010, an interview with I Ketut Wiryadinata, which said that both were graduates of the institute. Wacik was 1970 batch, while Wiryadinata was 1971 batch.

They were friends since 1962 when they studied grade IV in an elementary school until they graduated at the ITB. Their parents were also friends.

Besides questioning Wiryadinata, the KPK has summoned five other witnesses--former secretary general of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Waryono Karno, Planning Bureau Chief of ESDM Athena Fallahti, head of Administration Affairs of the ESDM Secretariat General Asep Permana, Indah Pratiwi (from a private firm), and director of Indopos Don Dardono.

Don had also been questioned earlier on Tuesday, but he refused to comment after the examination.

The KPK, on Wednesday (September 3), named Jero Wacik as a suspect in an extortion case where he received Rp9.9 billion, KPK Deputy Chairman Bambang Widjojanto stated here on Wednesday.

"He is believed to have misused his position as minister to extort money worth Rp9.9 billion from various sources," noted Bambang.

According to the anti-graft bodys investigation, Jero Wacik is believed to have ordered his staff to raise additional funds for the ministers operational costs. Jero Waciks staff then carried out fictitious activities, which were funded by sponsors from private parties.

"Some of the activities were fictitious," Bambang pointed out.

"Indeed, an order had been issued on September 2, 2014, regarding investigation on suspect Jero Wacik of the Ministry of Energy in connection with violation of Article 12, paragraph e, or Article 23 of Law No. 31 of 1999 in conjunction with Law No. 20 of 2001 and Article 421 of the Criminal Code," Zulkarnain said.

Article 12 paragraph e states that a state official who acts to benefit him/her or others against law or misuses his/her power to force others to give something, pay to do something for him/her, is committing extortion.

Anyone proven of violation of the law may face a sentence of up to 20 years in jail and a maximum fine of Rp1 billion.

Jero Wacik had tendered his resignation as ESDM minister to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday (September 5).

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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