After being named as a suspect in cases of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering worth almost IDR150 billion (US$10.5 million) last December, the former deputy governor of Bali, Ketut Sudikerta, was finally arrested by Bali Police yesterday afternoon at the island’s Ngurah Rai international airport.
Sudikerta, who was about to fly to Jakarta, had reportedly been uncooperative with the investigation, failing to show up for police examinations on three occasions, according to a report by Nusa Bali.
When he didn’t turn up for questioning again yesterday, police deemed it necessary to detain the former Golkar party chairman to speed up the investigation process.
“He [Sudikerta] has been detained to expedite the investigation process. He has often been called and then been absent [at scheduled police interviews]. He was detained so that the case can move along quickly” said Commissioner Yuliar Kus Nugroho, the head of Bali Police Criminal Investigation Unit, as quoted in Nusa Bali.
Sudikerta claimed that he’d previously filed a request to suspend his interview with the police, denying that he’d been trying to flee but had wanted to travel to Jakarta to settle personal affairs.
“I did not intend to flee abroad, why run away? I actually want responsibility,” he said, as quoted by Bali Post.
Sudikerta’s case goes back to 2013 when he directed Alim Markus, the owner of the Indonesian food production giant Maspion Group, towards buying two plots of land in South Bali under the pretense of false land certificates. Markus deposited IDR150 billion to PT Pecatu Gemilang, a bank account opened by Sudikerta’s wife, Ida Ayu Ketut Sri Sumiantini, before realizing the certificates were fake and reporting Sudikerta to the police.
Sudikerta is due to undergo more police questioning today. If found guilty, the former deputy governor could face up to 20 years in prison.
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