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Attorney General's office says Johnny Plate's graft probe isn't political

Jakarta Globe - May 17, 2023

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – The Attorney General's Office said on Wednesday the ongoing corruption investigation against Communication and Informatics Minister Johnny G. Plate is purely an act of law enforcement to protect the national interest and keep state assets from being stolen.

The statement came less than an hour after the minister was named a suspect and detained by prosecutors for a graft scandal related to the procurement of telecommunication towers and 4G internet infrastructure.

"The decision to name JGP a suspect and detain him is purely justified by the rule of law, not by any political motivation," AGO spokesman Ketut Sumedana said in a statement, referring to the minister by his initials.

Johnny is a top politician of the National Democratic Party or Nasdem, which last October broke away from the pro-government coalition by picking former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan as a candidate for the 2024 presidential election.

For months, the AGO has been investigating alleged irregularities in the procurement projects carried out by the Information and Telecommunication Accessibility Agency, or BAKTI, which is under the ministry led by Johnny.

State auditors revealed earlier this week that the graft scandal cost the state Rp 8 trillion ($538 million).

Ketut said the AGO is obliged to "safeguard strategic national projects" like the telecom infrastructure projects which aim to provide access to the internet across the sprawling archipelago.

Johnny, 66, was charged under the 1999 anti-corruption law which carries a life sentence.

According to his mandatory public filing dated March 16, 2022, Johnny has Rp 191 billion ($12.8 million) worth of personal wealth of mostly lands and buildings.

His properties have been registered in Depok (West Java), South Jakarta, East Jakarta, Cilegon (Banten), and Manggarai (East Nusa Tenggara). He was appointed minister by President Joko Widodo in October 2019.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/attorney-generals-office-says-johnny-plates-graft-probe-isnt-politica