Singapore deports Indonesian graft suspect

Mr La Nyalla after he was elected chief of the Indonesian Football Association last year. He was named as a suspect in a graft probe by the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission on March 16 this year.

Indonesia's football association chairman La Nyalla Mattalitti had been hiding in plain sight - first in Malaysia, then Singapore - for more than two months, trying to avoid a graft probe against him.

His luck, however, ran out this week when he was deported from Singapore on Tuesday.

Indonesian prosecutors said Mr La Nyalla will be detained for 20 days at Jakarta's Salemba Prison where he is being interrogated. "The questioning is ongoing, after one day of questioning, he will be detained for the next 20 days," Mr I Made Suarnawan from the East Java High Prosecutors Office told Antara news on Tuesday evening.

Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier that day said Mr La Nyalla had overstayed his social visit pass and hence had committed an immigration offence.

"He was deported from Singapore on Tuesday, May 31, after his immigration offence was dealt with in accordance with Singapore laws," said a ministry spokesman.

The Indonesian authorities confirmed that Mr La Nyalla was handed over to immigration officials at the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore and sent back to Jakarta, where he was taken into custody by anti-graft officers and prosecutors.

Mr La Nyalla was named as a suspect in a graft investigation by the country's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on March 16. He surfaced in Malaysia a day later, and then in Singapore on March 29.

He is suspected of being involved in a grant worth 5.3 billion rupiah (S$535,000) from the East Java administration to the provincial branch of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).

The grant was for the 2012 purchase of shares in Bank Jatim, which is owned by the province.

Mr La Nyalla, who is also the chairman of Kadin's East Java chapter, was placed on the commission's most wanted list after he ignored three KPK summonses to testify.

Indonesia and Singapore have signed an extradition treaty, but Indonesian lawmakers have yet to ratify it in Parliament.

This article was first published on June 2, 2016.
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