Anti-graft body detains former minister Jero Wacik

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detained former energy and mineral resources (ESDM) minister Jero Wacik on Tuesday over his involvement in an alleged case of corruption during his term in the 2011 to 2013 period.

"I refused to sign the detention minutes as I submitted a letter requesting that I not be detained, promising to not flee, to be cooperative, to not hide evidence and to not repeat the same mistakes," Wacik told reporters here on Tuesday.

He said he submitted the request on Tuesday morning. "But, in reality, I have been detained, and now, I cannot do anything. I hope justice is upheld."

Wacik, who is also a former culture and tourism minister, is being detained at the Cipinang detention house in East Jakarta.

"Beginning May 5, JW (Jero Wacik) will be detained at the Cipinang detention house in East Jakarta," KPK Chief for Media and Publication Affairs Priharsa Nugraha said here on Tuesday.

The anti-graft body also named Wacik as a suspect when he was the minister for culture and tourism in the 2008 to 2011 period.

The KPK accused Wacik of extortion to increase the amount of money in the ministers operational funds (DOM).

He has been accused of committing the crime in three ways---asking for the money from the procurment funds set aside for the ESDM ministry, asking for funds to be collected from partners in certain programs, and allocating budget for routine meetings that never took place.

It is believed that Wacik had committed the crime because funds in the DOM during his term as the ESDM minister were lesser than the funds he worked with when he was the culture and tourism minister.

Furthermore, it is suspected that the DOM funds flowed to a number of parties, including the Presidential Special Staff for Political Communications Affairs Daniel Sparringa, former chairman of Commission VII of the House of Representatives (DPR) Sutan Bhatoegana, and editor of a national mass media house Don Kardono, among others.

Wacik is expected to have received a total of Rp9.9 billion in the first case, while the second case inflicted state losses amounting to an estimated Rp7 billion.(*)

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