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Ayin’s Trips to Singapore’s Doctors
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The decision by the Ministry of Justice to extend a permit for businesswoman Artalyta Suryani alias Ayin’s medical treatment in Singapore is disappointing. It clearly makes it harder for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to examine her in connection with the bribery scandal involving businesswoman Hartati Murdaya and Buol Regent Amran Batalipu.
KPK investigators have been forced to commute to Singapore. The data verification process will undoubtedly be more difficult. Cross-examining her testimony against testimonies of others has certainly not been made easier.
So far it is known that the company owned by Ayin’s son, PT Sonokeling Buana, manages an area of 19,500 hectares of oil palm plantations in Buol, which shares a border with the oil palm plantations managed by PT Hardaya Inti Plantations and PT Cakra Murdaya owned by Hartati Murdaya.
In Singapore, KPK investigators asked Ayin about her connection with the three suspects in the bribery case, PT Sonokeling, and her relationship with Hartati.
It is baffling how easily Ayin could get the permission to extend her medical leave. When it was first discovered that the businesswoman who is on parole was staying in Singapore, officials at the Ministry could not give a clear and straightforward explanation.
Initially, the Director General of Corrections Sihabudin said Ayin requested permission to go abroad on July 13 to accompany her sick mother. However, when KPK summoned her, Ayin said that she herself was suffering from a nerve-related illness. Can a permit approving the change of the purpose to go abroad be issued so soon?
Minister of Justice Amir Syamsudin briefly inspired hope when he asked for Ayin, a former graft convict, to immediately return to the country to be examined by the KPK. Amir threatened to review her parole status if she did not return soon without good reason. Amir was afterwards forced to eat his own words and extended Ayin’s leave.
What is more, Ayin does not have to report in person to jail. Unlike other inmates, she can be represented by her lawyer.
These irregularities create the suspicion: why, when dealing with Ayin, the Ministry of Justice officials and Human Rights seem to be putty in her hands? It is no secret that Ayin is very close to a number of law enforcement officers of this country.
To create a deterrent effect, the Ministry should firmly limit the movements of convicted criminals. Especially when there is supicion that the criminal did or will flee the country. There are many examples of corrupt players who became fugitives after first requesting permission to seek medical treatment abroad.
The Ministry of Justice should also bear in mind that the crime of corruption is so rampant and entrenched in the country. Permission to go abroad, for whatever reason, should not be granted to restricted people who are scums of corruption.****