Energy minister Jero Wacik has been named suspect in an alleged extortion case linked with his position as a minister in 2011-2012 on Wednesday.
“Indeed, an order had been issued on September 2, 2014, regarding investigation on suspect JW 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,” deputy chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Zulkarnain, announced at a press conference.
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 an extortion.
Anyone proven violating the law may face a sentence of up to 20 years in jail and a maximum fine of Rp1 billion.
“After assuming the post of energy minister, JW had ordered several employees to collect money, as he claimed to collect additional operations funds than the budget allocations,” another KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto reported at the press conference.
He referred to several illegal activities committed to increase funds, such as procurements or kickbacks, fictitious meetings to collect up to Rp9.9 billion.
The extortion case was revealed after investigation into an alleged case of corruption in information campaign activities, including funbikes and maintenance of the office of the energy minister involving the ministry’s secretary general Waryono Karno.
The total budget spent for the activities reached Rp25 billion, with a potential loss of Rp9.9 billion to the state.
Waryono has also been named suspect in the alleged case of receiving bribes or making pledges after KPK discovered US$200,000 in his office while conducting a search operation at the ministry in connection with the bribery case of former head of the SKK Migas (oil and gas regulator) Rudi Rubiandini.
Jero Wacik said that he will honor the legal proceedings in the alleged extortion case that names him as suspect.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed shock at the news of Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik being named a suspect in an extortion case where he allegedly received Rp9.9 billion.
“The president was shocked to hear the news of Jero Wacik being named as a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK),” Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha stated on Thursday.