Friday, October 30, 2020

Retired Indonesian Olympic medalist admits to delivering bribes to former sports minister

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Taufik Hidayat, a retired Indonesian shuttler who took home a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, has admitted to acting as an intermediary in an alleged bribery case implicating former youth and sports minister Imam Nahrawi.

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors indicted Imam, who served as the minister from 2014 to 2019, for allegedly accepting Rp 11.5 billion (US$840,280) in bribes and additional in-kind offers worth Rp 8.64 billion from a number of ministry and Indonesian Sports Council (KONI) officials.

Taufik told the courtroom on Wednesday that he had delivered Rp 1 billion to Imam’s personal assistant, Miftahul Ulum, in January 2018. Miftahul is also a suspect in the case.

“I was asked to help through a phone call. I agreed to help, but I didn’t tell Pak Imam that I had given the money to Ulum,” Taufik said during a hearing on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

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According to the KPK’s indictment, the money came from Tommy Suhartanto, the planning and budget director of Satlak Prima (Gold Program) – a national sporting program for elite athletes that was dissolved in 2018. Tommy asked a Satlak Prima official named Edward Taufan Pandjaitan to prepare the money.

Edward then gave the money to Satlak Prima financial director assistant Reiki Mamesah, who handed over the money to Taufik, who served as the program’s deputy chairman from 2016 to 2017.

Taufik then gave the money to Miftahul at the former’s house in South Jakarta.

Tommy previously told the courtroom that he had given Rp 800 million to Taufik for his assistance in an alleged corruption case in 2017 – pertaining to the 2018 Asian Games publication budget – that implicated Imam’s brother, Syamsul Arifin.

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However, Taufik denied that he had accepted the money from Tommy.

KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri said prosecutors would follow up on Taufik’s testimony.

“Prosecutors will try to confirm his statement with other witnesses during the trial,” Ali said on Friday, as quoted by Antara.

Prior to his retirement in 2013, Taufik had won 16 gold medals throughout his career as a badminton athlete, including at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the 2005 World Badminton Championship in Anaheim.

Imam allegedly accepted bribes from KONI secretary-general Ending Fuad Hamidy and KONI general treasurer Johnny E. Awuy, who wanted to accelerate the approval and disbursement of a state grant proposed by the organization to the Youth and Sports Ministry in 2018.

Both Ending and Johnny were found guilty in the case.

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