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Cablegate: Conviction in Major Corruption Case

VZCZCXRO0195
PP RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1465/01 2130901
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 310901Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9678
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2839
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 1162
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 1132
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2062
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2294
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 2898
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2850
RUEHPT/AMCONSUL PERTH 1003
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001465

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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NSC FOR E.PHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KJUS KCOR ID
SUBJECT: CONVICTION IN MAJOR CORRUPTION CASE

REF: A. JAKARTA 1306
B. JAKARTA 1098
C. JAKARTA 595

JAKARTA 00001465 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified -- Please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Indonesia's Corruption Court has
convicted Artalyta Suryani--a well-known socialite and
influence peddler--of bribing a (since fired) state
prosecutor in order to close down a key corruption
investigation. The case is linked to massive financial fraud
at Bank Indonesia in the late 1990's and early 2000's (the
case is commonly referred to as "BLBI" based on the
Indonesian acronym). The GOI is continuing another major
trial linked to the BLBI case. The Attorney General,s
Office is under pressure to re-open all aspects of the BLBI
investigation. The conviction of a key influence peddler is
positive news for the GOI's anti-corruption efforts. END
SUMMARY.

A KEY CONVICTION

3. (U) There has been an important corruption conviction in
Indonesia. On July 29, the Corruption Court unanimously
convicted Artalyta Suryani of bribing state prosecutor Urip
Tri Gunawan, who had led the Attorney General,s Office (AGO)
investigation into the misappropriation of BLBI funds.
(Note: The BLBI case involves emergency liquid credits
extended by Bank Indonesia, the central bank, to commercial
banks during the financial crisis, which began in 1997. Of
the $16 billion BLBI loans issued since 1997, approximately a
third turned bad. End Note.)

4. (U) According to the evidence presented, the $660,000
bribe took place two days before the Attorney General,s
Office suddenly dropped its investigation of a key aspect of
the BLBI case (ref C). Due to this suspicious action, the
GOI launched an investigation, finding that Suryani had given
the prosecutor the huge bribe in exchange for wrapping up his
investigation. As part of the Court's ruling, Suryani was
sentenced to five years in prison and fined. Suryani now has
seven days to appeal the decision. Gunawan also faces
charges of accepting bribes and extortion.

5. (U) In the meantime, the Supreme Court on July 11
suspended a west Jakarta district court judge after he was
found guilty of requesting a bribe from Suryani.

A RELATED TRIAL TO CONTINUE

6. (U) A trial involving another strand of the BLBI matter
is set to continue. The Corruption Court has determined it
will continue with the trial of former Bank Indonesia
governor Burhanuddin Abdullah for the misappropriation of $11
million in funds (ref A). Former deputy governors Bun Bunan
Hutapea, Aslim Tadjuddin and Aulia Pohan--father-in-law of
one of President Yudhoyono,s sons--were also implicated in
the case, although they have not yet been named suspects.
The funds were allegedly disbursed to members of the House of
Representatives (DPR) and former Bank Indonesia officials.

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE UNDER PRESSURE

7. (SBU) The Attorney General,s Office is under pressure to
re-open its BLBI investigation. The stunning fact that one
of its prosecutors took a bribe to shut down a case has

JAKARTA 00001465 002.2 OF 002


proven a severe embarrassment, and the Attorney General is
hard at work trying to restore his and his organization's
credibility. The case is critical for Indonesia's
anti-corruption effort because it has many tentacles,
involving so many in the elite world of business and
government. The fact that a key influence broker has been
convicted is a big positive. That said, the Suryani aspect
of the case seems to be just the tip of the iceberg.
HUME

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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