Indonesia watchdog says former CEO of airline Garuda a bribery suspect

Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:10am EST
 
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By Cindy Silviana and Fransiska Nangoy

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's anti-corruption agency said on Thursday it was treating the former chief executive of airline PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk (GIAA.JK: Quote) as a suspect in a bribery case.

Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said in a statement the CEO of Garuda from 2005 to 2014 was suspected of taking bribes related to the purchase of planes and machines from Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) and Rolls-Royce (RR.L: Quote).

The KPK did not refer to the former CEO by name but, as is its custom, used initials - in this case "ESA". The CEO of Garuda from 2005 to 2014 was Emirsyah Satar, who is now chairman of Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group's e-commerce platform MatahariMall.com.

In a phone message to Reuters, Satar denied wrongdoing but said that it was the authority of the KPK to name him as a suspect and that he will respect the legal process.

"As far as I know, when I was the CEO of PT Garuda Indonesia, I had never done corrupt activities and I did not receive anything that was related to my position," Satar said.

MatahariMall said it supported the legal process in Indonesia, but declined further comment. Rolls-Royce did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Airbus said the company had no comment on the issue.

The KPK said it found evidence that "ESA" had received 20 billion rupiah ($1.5 million) of cash and items worth $2 million in Singapore and Indonesia from another suspect.

KPK Chairman Agus Rahardjo said at a news briefing its probe was directed against individuals, and would not affect Garuda's operations.   Continued...

 
FILE PHOTO Former CEO PT Garuda Indonesia Emirsyah Satar talks to reporters during a news confrence at Garuda Indonesia's head office in Tangerang, Indonesia, December 12, 2014. Picture taken December 12, 2014. REUTERS/Beawiharta/File photo