Indonesia Outgoing Audit Chief a Suspect in $32 mn Graft Case


Indonesian anti-corruption officials have named the outgoing audit agency chief a suspect in a $32-million graft case, the latest high-profile scandal to hit the country’s public sector.

Investigators believe Hadi Poernomo, named a suspect late Monday on the first day of his retirement, may have accepted bribes in exchange for tax exemptions granted to Indonesia’s biggest private bank.

In the past year, the constitutional court’s chief judge and the head of the main energy regulator have been among the top civil servants targeted in corruption investigations.

The latest case involves tax exemptions worth 375 billion rupiah ($32 million) granted to Bank Central Asia (BCA), the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said.

Poernomo, who was director general of taxation from 2002 to 2004, granted the exemptions after BCA disputed earlier tax bills from 1999.

The exemptions were granted even though almost identical claims from other institutions were rejected, KPK chief Abraham Samad told reporters.

“(Hadi Poernomo) is accused of committing the unlawful act of abuse of authority in accepting all requests for exemption by BCA for the financial year of 1999,” Samad said.

Poernomo, who was named a suspect on his 67th birthday, could be jailed for up to 20 years if proven guilty of abuse of power to enrich himself or other parties.

He is not in custody. Corruption suspects normally face questioning before being formally arrested and charged.

NGO Transparency International ranked Indonesia 114th out of 177 countries and territories in its annual corruption perceptions index last year. A number one ranking means the least corrupt.


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