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Cablegate: Indonesia - Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative to Focus On

VZCZCXRO6892
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #3175/01 3191028
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151028Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7070
INFO RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1121
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4490
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1572
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4295
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 003175

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EEB/IFD/OMA, INL BOULDIN
L/LEI FOR BUCHHOLZ
SINGAPORE FOR HOROWITZ, BAKER
DOJ FOR CRIM AAG SWARTZ
DOJ/OIA FOR WARNER/ROBINSON
DOJ/OPDAT FOR ALEXANDRE/LEHMANN/JOHNSON
DOJ/AFMLS FOR SAMUEL
DEPT PASS USTR FOR WEISEL
TREASURY FOR IA - BAUKOL
USAID FOR ANE/AA

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AIDAC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KMCA KCOR ECON KJUS ID
SUBJECT: INDONESIA - STOLEN ASSET RECOVERY INITIATIVE TO FOCUS ON
CAPACITY BUILDING

JAKARTA 00003175 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: The UN-World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR)
initiative will make recommendations for a technical assistance
program in Indonesia. Indonesia has limited technical capacity and
uneven political will to recover assets internationally. Managing
expectations of StAR is critical as many Indonesians equate this
initiative with recovering Suharto's ill-gotten assets, which the
program is not designed to do directly. End Summary.

StAR Rising?
------------

2. (SBU) President Yudhoyono and World Bank President Zoellick
signed a joint communique in September regarding Indonesia's
participation in the UN-World Bank StAR initiative. A UN-World Bank
assessment team is visiting Jakarta November 12-19 to prepare StAR's
first country strategy, with anticipated release in January. The
assessment team will focus their recommendations on a
one-to-two-year technical assistance program to build the Indonesian
government's capacity to recover stolen assets which have crossed
borders. Indonesian media reports have inaccurately linked StAR
reporting to recovering Suharto's ill-gotten assets, getting StAR
off on the wrong foot with public communication. The assessment
team understands the political considerations related to going after
Suharto's assets. Indeed, it does not seek to identify any specific
individuals - including Suharto - as targets.

Limited Capacity, Limited Political Will
----------------------------------------

3. (SBU) The assessment team has identified the limited technical
capacity in Indonesia for recovering stolen assets, both nationally
and internationally. Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)
Commissioner Amien Sunaryadi told the assessment team that the KPK
will set up an office devoted to asset recovery. The Financial
Intelligence Unit (PPATK) and Indonesian National Police (INP) have
also established programs, but little expertise or capacity is
available for asset recovery.

4. (SBU) The assessment team is also reviewing the role of
legislation in the asset recovery drive. Some StAR team members
believe that three laws in the Parliament would boost Indonesian
government capacity to recover assets:

-- amendments to the anti-money laundering law
-- a civil asset forfeiture law
-- ASEAN regional mutual legal assistance treaty

Passing these laws would be a strong sign of political will to
combat corruption. Other team members, however, question the
importance of passing more laws. A proper legal structure is a
necessary, but not sufficient condition for improving asset recovery
capacity. Given Parliament's own lack of transparency on wealth
disclosure, external efforts to influence Parliament on asset
recovery and other anti-corruption reform efforts is sensitive and
often difficult.

StAR Provides Additional International Resources
--------------------------------------------- ---

5. (SBU) The StAR initiative could be a positive contribution from
international donors for Indonesian anti-corruption reform. StAR's
focus relates directly to the key theme of asset recovery of the
Second Conference of State Parties for the UN Convention Against
Corruption, which Indonesia will host in January 2008. StAR is
intended to encourage developed countries with major financial
centers to provide support in asset recovery. Many Indonesians view
StAR as an opportunity to leverage more cooperation from Singapore,
widely viewed as the haven for corrupt Indonesians' ill-gotten

JAKARTA 00003175 002.2 OF 002


gains. However, the StAR team does not seek to target specific
countries. It acknowledges that seriously tackling
Singapore-Indonesia mutual legal assistance and asset recovery
challenges are beyond its remit.

HUME

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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