Presidential staff clarifies rumor about receiving money from Jero Wacik

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Presidential staff for Political Communication Affairs Daniel Sparringga denies a rumor that he was a consultant and had received money from the Energy and Mineral resources Minister Jero Wacik who is recently being named as suspect in a corruption case.

"I need to clarify the rumor in the media. I was never become Jeros consultant. My current position is as the presidential staff," said Daniel adding that he had never received a certain amount of money from Jero Wacik.

Daniel explained he was questioned by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) last September 9 as a witness on Jeros case.

"I came at the time to give support on the legal process that is being conducted by the KPK. It is my personal commitment to cooperate with KPK," Daniel said.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) last September 3 had named Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik a suspect in an extortion case where he received Rp9.9 billion.

"He is believed to have misused his position as minister to extort money worth Rp9.9 billion from various sources," KPKs Deputy Chairman Bambang Widjojanto said.

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

"Some of the activities are fictive," Bambang claimed.

However, he declined to divulge further details regarding which private parties had transferred their funds to Jero, the member of the ruling Democrat Party, and his staff.

"We are not in the position to give details about this case now. But what we know is that Jero started raising funds during the period between 2011 and 2012, when he was first appointed as the energy and mineral resources minister," Bambang stated.

The case involving Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik is a result of the anti-graft bodys investigation on the socialization program, procurement of health bikes, and maintenance of the Energy and Mineral Resources building in Central Jakarta. The anti-graft body had earlier named Waryono Karyo, the secretary general of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry as a suspect.

The case involving Waryono Karno caused Rp9.8 billion in state losses in the project valued at Rp25 billion for socialization activities, procurement of health bicycles, and maintenance of the office of the secretariat of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.

Waryono is also named a graft suspect for receiving bribes related to US$200 thousand found by the KPK in his office room during a raid following the arrest of Head of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulator (SKK Migas) Rudi Rubiandini, who is now serving a jail term for graft.(*)