Indonesian ex-energy ministry secretary-general locked up for graft

Indonesian ex-energy ministry secretary-general locked up for graft

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detained former Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry secretary-general Waryono Karno on Thursday night after questioning him for around 10 hours.

Waryono has been declared a graft suspect in two separate graft cases plaguing the energy ministry, whose former minister Jero Wacik was also charged with extortion by the antigraft body on Sept. 2.

"He [Waryono] will be detained at the KPK detention centre in Guntur, South Jakarta, for the next 20 days to complete his dossiers. The detention period is extendable up to 120 days," KPK spokesman Johan Budi told reporters at the antigraft body headquarters on Thursday night.

In January, Waryono was charged with allegedly accepting a gratuity when serving as the ministry's secretary-general. The money allegedly came from former Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKKMigas) head Rudi Rubiandini, who was sentenced to seven years in a separate bribery case.

In May the KPK slapped another corruption charge on Waryono after finding that he had allegedly collaborated with officials at the ministry to rig a number of state projects worth Rp 25 billion (US$ 1.99).

"The state lost around Rp 11 billion from the rigged processes," Johan added.

The cases at the ministry were revealed after the KPK arrested Rudi for accepting bribes from a number of oil and gas companies in exchange for oil contracts.

Rudi's case revealed Waryono's alleged role as "collector" of money from SKKMigas and state energy firm PT Pertamina, as reportedly instructed by Democratic Party politician Jero, to be given to the House of Representatives' Commission VII overseeing energy and natural and mineral resources in order to help ease the deliberation of the ministry's budget at the House.

After months of collecting testimony in the case, the KPK later moved to charge Commission VII chairman and Democratic Party politician Sutan Bathoegana with receiving payoffs from the ministry.

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