Friday, February 23, 2024

Coalition asks KPK to probe alleged scandal in used fighter jet purchase

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Gusty da Costa

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A coalition of civil society groups has urged the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to immediately perform and cooperate with international anti-corruption bodies for thorough investigation into the alleged purchase scandal of Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets.

“KPK needs to be at the forefront in investigating high profile corruption cases involving public and political officials. Several corruption cases that have been handled by KPK can be further processed due to good international cooperation,” Adnan Topan Husodo, an anti corruption activist, said in a statement on Monday, February 12,2024.

Imparsial, Kontras, the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), Migrant Care, Indonesian Women’s Coalition, Amnesty International Indonesia, and the Indonesia Corruption Watch are some of the 30 NGOs that joined the Civil Society Coalition.

In addition, the coalition also urged the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) to coordinate with the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) in order to seek stronger information and evidence on indications of a kick-back payment of 7 perdent or USD 55.4 billion to Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto by Qatari officials allegedly for political funding in the 2024 presidential election.

The Indonesian public was shocked by report disseminated by msn.com, a news web portal affiliated with Microsoft. The report mentioned an investigation by the European Union’s anti-corruption agency (GRECO) into the contract for the purchase of second-hand Mirage 2000-5 aircraft between the Indonesian government, in this case represented by Monister of Defense Prabowo Subianto, and the Government of Qatar.

The deal involved a Czech broker called Excalibur International and a former French Air Force Pilot, named Habib Boukharouba. The msn.com report also mentioned indications of markup in the purchase of the Mirage 2000-5, even though the condition of the aircraft is more than 20 years old. Indonesia must
spend USD 66 million for 1 unit, out of 12 units purchased with a total budget of USD 792 million.Meanwhile, the market price in the initial period of production and marketing (20 years ago) only ranged from USD 23 million to USD 35 million.

According to various sources quoted anonymously by msn.com, there was an agreement to provide a kick-back of 7 percent of the total contract, amounting to USD 55.4 million, which is used to fund Prabowo Subianto’s campaign,as a presidential candidate in the 2024 presidential election.

The fantastic kick-back of USD 55.4 million or almost Rp 900 billion for campaign funding does not only mean that there are allegations of corruption in the misappropriation of the State Budget (APBN) but also election violations in the criminal context.

This media report said that the European Union’s Anti-Corruption Commission had sent an European Investigative Order (EIO) to the US Embassy in Jakarta on January 25, 2024, regarding this scandal.

Rosan: No Money Requested for Mirage Purchase

Chairman of the Prabowo-Gibran National Campaign Team, Rosan Roeslani, said as quoted by voaindonesia.com that he had checked the information stating that presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto received some money for the purchase of Mirage 2000-5 aircraft. “I checked directly, both in Washington DC and at the American Embassy in Indonesia, there was never such a request at all,” said Rosan.

“First, I called Ambassador Sung Kim, the American Ambassador to Indonesia who had just returned to DC, and he said that after he checked with his men, nothing had come to Indonesia. That was the first thing,” added Rosan.

The former Indonesian Ambassador to the US admitted that he also contacted the US’S Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink, aboiut the matter.

“Third, I also asked for help from our embassy in America and contacted Keith Devereaux, who is in charge of the Indonesian Desk at the US State Department. And he responded, after checking, as stated, it never existed. So we contacted three people to confirm this,” said Rosan.

The Prabowo-Gibran National Campaign Team, he said, plans to take legal action to investigate those who deliberately spread this news.

Gusty da Costa

Journalist

 

Editor

 

Interview

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