Prosecutors say Setya Novanto, center, in his capacity as speaker of the House of Representatives at the time, allegedly told Eni Maulani Saragih, former deputy chairwoman of House Commission VII, which oversees energy affairs, to involve Johannes Kotjo, a shareholder of BlackGold Natural Resources, in a $900 million power plant project in Riau. (Antara Photo/Adam Bariq)

Graft Convict Setya Novanto at the Center of Another High-Profile Corruption Case

BY : FANA SUPARMAN

JUNE 25, 2019

Jakarta. Setya Novanto, the disgraced former speaker of the House of Representatives currently serving a 15-year prison term for massive graft in the so-called e-KTP corruption case, has also been implicated in a bribery case related to a $900 million power plant project in Riau, court documents showed on Monday. 

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said it was Setya who arranged the meeting between Sofyan Basir, then-president director of state utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara, and the other suspects in the case: Johannes Kotjo, a shareholder of BlackGold Natural Resources, and Eni Maulani Saragih, former deputy chairwoman of House Commission VII, which oversees energy affairs.

KPK prosecutors said Setya, who was also the Golkar Party chairman at the time, met with Johannes in the party's offices in Jakarta in 2016. Johannes reportedly asked Setya to coordinate with PLN to get BlackGold Natural Resources involved in the power plant project. 

He allegedly promised to pay Setya a "commitment fee" of $6 million for his troubles. Setya next introduced Johannes to Eni.

"At that time, Setya Novanto told Eni Maulani Saragih to involve Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo in the power plant project," the prosecutors said.

Shortly after that, Setya arranged a meeting between Eni, Johannes and Sofyan at his home in Jakarta. Some PLN officials, including Supangkat Iwan Santoso, director of strategic procurement, were reportedly also present at this meeting, which allegedly saw Setya ask Sofyan to award the contract for the Java III combined-cycle gas-fired power plant project to BlackGold Natural Resources.

"However, the defendant [Sofyan Basir] answered that the Java III combined-cycle gas-fired power plant contract had already been awarded to another company and that they should look for other power plant projects," the prosecutors said.

Setya later arranged for Sofyan to meet with Eni and Johannes again, this time at Hotel Mulia in Senayan, Central Jakarta.

"The defendant told Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo to join the Riau project by stating: 'Fine, you can only have the one in Riau; don't think about the one in Java, because its capacity has been exceeded.' Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo then agreed to this," the prosecutors said.

In July 2017, the KPK named Setya a suspect in the e-KTP corruption case, which involved the procurement of electronic national identity cards. However, this did not seem to discourage him, as the bribery scheme continued. Eni then coordinated with Idrus Marham, Golkar Party's general secretary at that time. 

"Eni Maulani Saragih told Idrus Marham that Eni Maulani Saragih would be getting a fee from Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo for overseeing the Riau-1 power plant project," the prosecutors said.

The national antigraft agency has already charged Sofyan, Johannes, Eni and Idrus in the case. Setya remains a witness.

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