Andi Narogong rewarded for incriminating Setya Novanto
House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto may have claimed that businessman Andi Agustinus was a just a guy who once offered to procure campaign T-shirts for the Golkar Party.
But the businessman, who is now facing prison time for his alleged role in the e-ID graft case, is said to have been a close aide of the embattled Golkar leader, with some lawmakers referring to him as Setya’s “right hand.”
For months, Setya, who will soon also face trial for his alleged role in the high-profile graft case, denied having colluded with Andi to rig the e-ID project, but the latter might have spilled the beans on the former after deciding to cooperate with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) as a “justice collaborator” in the case.
The antigraft body can grant justice collaborator status to any defendant that is considered cooperative in uncovering the graft case. The defendant could later be rewarded with several benefits, including a lighter sentence and sentence remissions.
KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said on Thursday that the KPK had received a request from Andi, also known as Andi Narogong, to become a justice collaborator in the high-profile e-ID graft case in September.
On Thursday, while reading their sentence demand for Andi at the Jakarta Corruption Court, KPK prosecutors announced that they had granted his request.
“On Dec. 5, KPK commissioners decided to approve the request filed by the defendant,” KPK prosecutor Nur Haris Arhadi said.
He argued that the antigraft body considered Andi cooperative during the trial as he had testified truthfully and revealed facts leading to other suspects, including Setya.
Despite the justice collaborator status, prosecutors still believed that Andi was guilty in the graft case and demanded the bench punish the defendant with eight years in prison and Rp 1 billion (US$70,000) in fines.
Andi allegedly played a key role in the high-profile case by lobbying members of the House of Representatives to ease the budgeting process for the multimillion dollar project and rigging the tender at the Home Ministry, according to the KPK’s indictment against the first two suspects in the case, Irman and Sugiharto.
According to the KPK, Setya allegedly helped Andi secure the House’s approval to disburse Rp 5.9 trillion from the state budget for the project between 2010 and 2013. Of the Rp 5.9 trillion that was disbursed, some Rp 2.3 trillion was allegedly embezzled and distributed to a number of parties.
During Andi’s trial, it was revealed that he was able to rig the budget deliberation at the House and tender process for the e-ID project because of his alleged relationship with Setya.
According to the 3,197 pages of sentence demands made by KPK prosecutors to the panel of judges with the Jakarta Corruption Court, Andi had accompanied Setya in several meetings regarding the project, including the one that took place at an office in Jakarta around 2011.
During the meeting, Setya, along with another Golkar politician, Chairuman Harahap, had allegedly asked for the 5-percent commitment fee from Andi and Paulus Tanos, the general director of PT Sandipala Arthapura.
Andi confirmed the meeting had taken place during last week’s hearing.
Andi also admitted that he and businessman Johannes Marliem, who reportedly committed suicide in the United States in August, gave Setya a luxury watch worth Rp 1.3 billion as a “token of gratitude” for the politician’s alleged role in rigging the budget earmarked for the e-ID project.
Andi is the third defendant in the e-ID graft case to have sought justice collaborator status.
“As of today, every defendant in the graft case has requested to become a justice collaborator and has admitted their guilt, with two of them having returned the illicit money to the antigraft body,” Febri said, referring to former Home Ministry officials Irman and Sugiharto.
The KPK previously approved the request filed by the two former officials, with Irman saying they had told the KPK everything they knew about the high-profile graft case, including about the roles of other parties suspected to have intervened in the deliberation of the project’s budget at the House of Representatives.
The status, however, was rejected by the Jakarta High Court in its recent ruling on the appeal filed by KPK prosecutors. The antigraft body had stated that it would challenge the ruling through a cassation that would be filed with the Supreme Court.
KPK grants justice collaborator status to Andi Narogong Andi seen as key witness in e-ID graft case
How bad is it?: Businessman and graft defendant Andi Agustinus (right), known as Andi Narogong, speaks to his lawyer before the sentence demand hearing at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Thursday.