Central Bank Governor Denies Graft Charges

JAKARTA ~ The governor of the country’s central bank has denied allegations by Indonesia’s official corruption watchdog that he raided the bank accounts for bribe money to pay to legislators.

Burhannudin Abdullah, along with two of his officials from Bank Indonesia (BI), has been accused by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) of paying the bribes to members of the House of Representatives in 2004.

“At the appropriate time, I will prove that I am innocent,” Abdullah said at a press conference here on Tuesday, adding that he had yet to receive a letter from the KPK officially naming him as a suspect.

“As a citizen, I will honor the legal process,” he said.

Abdullah said he had not yet appointed a lawyer.

KPK deputy chief Chandra M Hamzah said on Monday that a Friday plenary meeting of the body decided to name Abdullah, BI legal affairs director Oey Hoeng Tiong and the former head of the BI communications bureau Rusli Simanjuntak, as suspects in the misappropriation of BI funds.

“The plenary did make that decision … I have been instructed to make no other comments for the time being,” KPK Spokesman Johan Budi said.

Abdullah is alleged to have taken the money from BI Banking Development Foundation, to pay Rp31.5 billion (US$3.37 million at current rates) to lawmakers during House deliberation of the Law on Finance in 2004.

The alleged transfer was discovered during an audit by the country’s Supreme Audit Agency in 2006.

In January, commission investigators questioned Burhanuddin over the transfer, but no House members have so far been questioned.

KPK Director for Gratuities Lambok Hamonangan Hutauruk told the state Antara news agency that more suspects could be named as the investigation proceeded.

“These are just those who gave (the money). We will later also get those who received it,” Hutauruk said.

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