Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, confirmed on Thursday that it has requested the anti-money laundering agency to freeze bank accounts belonging to Yulce Wenda Enembe, the wife of corruption suspect Papua Governor Lukas Enembe.
Like his husband, Yulce refused to honor a KPK summons earlier this week.
The KPK statement came after Lukas' defense team accused the commission of overstepping its authority by targeting the wife.
"It's true that investigators have frozen the bank accounts of the suspect's wife for the needs of the investigation into the case," KPK spokesman Ali Fikri said in a statement.
He added the move was taken before Yulce skipped her deposition as a witness on Wednesday.
"With regards to the witness's failure to appear, we will soon deliver a second summons and further noncompliance will risk a warrant for the witness according to the law," Ali said.
Petrus Bala Pattyona, an attorney for Lukas, argued that the KPK has no standing to freeze Yulce's accounts.
"The law says that the move to freeze bank accounts should apply against [criminal] suspects only," Petrus said in Jayapura on Wednesday.
"Maybe it's because KPK was angry at Madame Yulce's refusal to testify," he added.
The lawyer said his client's wife learned about her suspended bank accounts only recently when she was about to make bank transactions but was denied.
Lukas is accused of taking bribes and money laundering during his two terms as governor but the KPK has yet to explain the case in detail pending his deposition.
The Democratic Party politician has refused to serve two summonses since last month.
The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) said earlier that they have evidence of payments to overseas casinos totaling 55 million Singapore dollars (US$39 million) by Lukas since 2017.