House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Azis Syamsuddin. (Antara Photo)

Top Lawmaker Azis Syamsuddin Becomes Graft Suspect: Reports

BY :THE JAKARTA GLOBE

SEPTEMBER 23, 2021

Jakarta. House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Azis Syamsuddin has been named a corruption suspect for allegedly bribing an anti-graft investigator, according to local media reports on Thursday.

The news has been widely anticipated since his alleged role was mentioned publicly several times, including in the indictment against the disgraced investigator in July.

The Golkar Party politician has allegedly bribed Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Stepanus Robin Pattuju in an attempt to drop graft investigation into budget allocation for the district of Central Lampung, Lampung province, in 2017.

He is also alleged to have asked the same favor for a fellow party member.

Azis, then chairman of the powerful budget committee of the House, had allegedly demanded an 8 percent fee for the Central Lampung funding to be approved. 

The allegation reached the House ethic committee but was then dropped for unspecified reasons.

However, internal investigation by KPK found that Stepanus had allegedly received at least Rp 3 billion in bribe money from Azis.

Azis, 51, has been slapped with six-month overseas travel ban since April 27 as investigation underway.

The Central Lampung budget allocation is not the only case connecting Azis and Stepanus.

The lawmaker is alleged to have brokered an agreement between the investigator and M. Syahrial, the mayor of Tanjungbalai, North Sumatra.

The mayor was facing his own corruption investigation that could derail his reelection ambition and he came to fellow Golkar member Azis for help, according to court documents.

Azis arranged a meeting between Stepanus and Syahrial at his official residence in South Jakarta in October last year, during which the mayor asked the investigator to make sure he was not prosecuted by KPK ahead of the mayoral election.

Both Stepanus and Syahrial are currently being tried.

KPK Chairman Firli Bahuri told local news website Detik that Azis has been summoned to face questioning scheduled on Friday.
 

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