Former Religious Affairs deputy minister Nasaruddin Umar underwent questioning at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Monday as a witness in a graft case related to Quran procurement at the ministry.
"[I was] asked information about Fahd. At that time, I had been appointed deputy minister, so I didn't know much," Nasaruddin said at the headquarters of the KPK as quoted by Antara news agency on Monday.
Fahd El Fouz, who was named a suspect on April 27, is accused of corruption in the Quran procurement project at the Religious Affairs Ministry's directorate general of Islamic mass organisations management from 2011 to 2012.
He is also accused of corrupt practices related to a computer laboratory procurement project for madrasah tsanawiyah (senior Islamic high schools).
Nasaruddin said that during the budgeting and procurement period, he was carrying out duties abroad trying to free 200 Indonesian citizens on death row.
"I did not know the process, nor did I sign any letters approving any sort of budget," Nasaruddin, who is now a grand imam at Istiqlal Mosque, said.
Fahd and two other people are suspected of having swindled Rp 14.8 billion (S$1.5 million) from the two projects.
Former Golkar Party politician Zulkarnaen Djabar and his son Dendy Prasetia have been tried in the same case.
Zulkarnaen was sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined Rp 300 million.
His son was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined Rp 300 million.