Indonesian minister’s son skips questioning in graft probe

Indonesian minister’s son skips questioning in graft probe

JAKARTA - The Jakarta Prosecutor's Office was forced to delay its investigation into Riefan Afrian, son of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Syariefuddin "Syarief" Hasan, after he failed to turn up for questioning on Monday.

Reifan is a suspect in a high profile graft case at the ministry.

Prosecutors, however, denied rumours that Riefan, who was named suspect last week, had attempted to stonewall the probe.

"He [Riefan] couldn't meet the summons because he is still preparing his defence team," Jakarta Prosecutor's Office spokesman Waluyo told The Jakarta Post on Monday, adding that the questioning was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Anticorruption activists have lashed out at the Prosecutor's Office for what they call "sluggish handling due to pressure from the ruling Democratic Party", as Syarief is the party's executive chairman.

Activists also predict that Riefan will receive a lenient sentence and urged the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to take over the case, which so far has implicated four suspects. The Jakarta Prosecutor's Office also failed to summons Syarief as witness in the case.

The trial of Hendra Saputra, another suspect in the case, exposed Riefan role in the procurement project, which was allegedly rigged by his father's office for him.

In order to win the Rp 23 billion (S$2.5 million) project, Riefan established a company called PT Imaji Media and appointed Hendra, his office boy, as a director to distance himself from the company.


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