The National Police have named former deputy law and human rights minister Denny Indrayana a suspect in a graft case centering on the Law and Human Rights Ministry's online passport payment system.
Denny stands accused of abusing his power by directly appointing two online service providers, PT Nusa Satu Inti Artha and PT Finnet Indonesia, to run the payment system, also known as payment gateway.
The Gadjah Mada University law professor has been charged with articles 2 and 3 of the Corruption Law in conjunction with articles 55 and 421 of the Criminal Code (KUHP).
Denny said he accepted his status as a graft suspect, saying that fighting corruption came with risks.
"I understand that this is one of the risks of fighting for a cleaner, non-corrupt Indonesia. Bismillah, I will face this patiently and steadfastly," he said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday evening, the National Police's detective division announced that it had named Denny a suspect and would question him on Friday over his alleged role in the case.
The online passport payment service was launched on July 14 last year when he served as deputy minister. It was suddenly halted in October last year after the ministry said that it had yet to authorise the start of the project.
Denny explained that he had intended to implement the payment gateway to improve public service and prevent extortion, which many faced at immigration offices from workers or middlemen.
"So if anyone feels that passport services have been improved [by the payment gateway], please speak up," he said.
When Denny's case was first reported, speculation was rife that it was a move by the police to criminalize him following his support for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) during the standoff between the two institutions.
Tensions between the two law enforcement institutions flared after the antigraft body named three-star police general Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan a suspect in a bribery case.
During the standoff, KPK commissioners Abraham Samad and Bambang Widjojanto were named suspects for alleged document forgery and perjury, respectively, which many deemed insignificant and considered another act of criminalization. The cases have been postponed to cool relations between the two institutions.
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Anton Charliyan denied the allegations and said that there was sufficient evidence to charge Denny.
"[Denny] was the one who chose the two vendors for the payment gateway system," he said.
He explained that Denny had authorised the two companies to open a single bank account where funds from the payment gateway were to be deposited before being transferred to the state treasury.
"This is where they violated the law, the money should have gone straight to the state treasury," Anton said.
Although investigators are still waiting on an official audit from the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) on the state losses caused by the case, they have estimated Rp 32.09 million (US$2.4 million) in state losses.
The police also estimate that there were unauthorized charges worth Rp 605 million (S$63,906) from the system.
Anton said that several of the ministry's staff members testified that they were unsure of the payment gateway programme because another similar programme, known as Simponi, already existed.
"According to the witnesses, the Simponi programme was simpler and more profitable," he said.
Although Denny is the only person that has been named a suspect in the case thus far, Anton said that more suspects were likely to be named but investigators wanted to gather as much evidence as they could first.