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Senin, 04 Januari 2010

President calls for ‘fair’ settlement

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called for an objective settlement on the Bank Century bailout scandal, saying the political investigation should be free of political interests that could cause the nation to lose a chance to accelerate its economic development

Yudhoyono made the call opening the Indonesia Stock Exchange after the New Year, saying the move was important to ensure Indonesia moves on with its development targets.

“I call all parties not to lessen this momentum and settle the case appropriately,” Yudhoyono said.

We have to move on to achieve our targets. Democracy does need our readiness. After the elections we should unite and build this country together.

“Three years from now there will be more legislative elections and then the presidential election. The time will come for all parties to again compete with one another.”

The House of Representative’s special committee assigned to probe the scandal was scheduled to interrogate former central bank deputy governor Aulia Pohan, also father-in-law of Yudhoyono’s eldest son Agus Harimurti, over the controversial disbursement of the Rp 6.76 trillion (US$716 million) to bail out the bank.

Committee chairman Idrus Marham said that the committee agreed to interrogate Vice President Boediono, former vice president Jusuf Kalla and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani this week, in line with the findings of the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK).

Committee member Maruarar Sirait said that questions for Aulia would focus on his role in allowing the Bank Danpac, Bank Pikko, Bank CIC and Bank Century merger late in 2004.

Aulia is currently serving a jail sentence for bribing legislators.

Maruarar, a politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said that during the merger, Aulia was deputy governor for supervision at Bank Indonesia.

He said the committee would also summon Aulia’s then former director of supervision Sabar Anton Tarihoran, to dig further into the merger. “We consider they both played important roles in approving the merger of the ailing banks into Bank Century. We will then cross check the results with BPK audit results,” he said.

Committee member, Anas Urbaningrum of the Democratic Party, added that Aulia and Sabar would be questioned consecutively Tuesday. The BPK audit report said Bank Century was ailing since its inception into the merger in late 2004. The bank’s capital adequacy ratio at one point reached minus 132.5 percent. It was the second interrogation for Boediono who first stood before the committee last week.

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