Friday 4 December 2015

Setya Novanto, the speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, in Jakarta last month.

Freeport Indonesia CEO: The Speaker of the House Asked for a 20% Stake!
Jakarta. The chief executive of mining giant Freeport Indonesia has confirmed allegations that the speaker of the House attempted to shake him down for a 20 percent stake in the company, in what is shaping up to be the biggest corruption scandal in Indonesian history.
Maroef Sjamsoeddin made the statement during his sworn testimony on Thursday before an ethics tribunal convened by the House of Representatives into allegations that House Speaker Setya Novanto demanded that 20 percent of shares in copper and gold miner Freeport Indonesia – valued at an estimated $4 billion – be divested through him and prominent oilman Muhammad Riza Chalid

“The speaker of the House and his associate, Riza Chalid, asked for a 20 percent stake [in Freeport Indonesia],” he said. 

“I reported this to our principal,” he added, referring to Arizona-based parent company Freeport-McMoRan founder and chairman James R. Moffett.

Maroef, a former deputy chief of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), said Setya had sought him out ever since he became chief executive of Freeport Indonesia in January this year, but added he did not know why until later. He said that when it became apparent at the meeting what Setya and Riza were driving at, he tried to nip it in the bud.

“I tried to stop it. I said ‘Thank you for your time’ because it was getting out of hand. It was inappropriate for the speaker of the House and a businessman to be speaking like that,” Maroef said.

“I took the initiative to record [the conversation with Setya and Riza],” he added as quoted by Kompas. “I was worried because I was on my own, while Setya was with Riza.”
He said that the recording, which was played before the tribunal on Wednesday evening and broadcast live on television, was authentic. “I didn’t cut out any part of the recording. What we talked about and what you heard last night are exactly the same.”

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said last month submitted a portion of the recording and a transcript to the House Ethics Council, alleging that Setya had attempted to have the stake in Freeport Indonesia divested through him and Riza, and claiming that President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla would be the final recipients.

Kalla, who has denied any role in the alleged shakedown, on Thursday lashed out at what he called Setya’s “greed” and “corruption.”

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