Andrea Arshirena Hosana, Jakarta – Prosecutors on Friday detained a high-ranking state auditor who also owns a football club as a suspect in the ongoing corruption investigation involving an internet infrastructure project, which implicates former Communication Minister Johnny Plate as a key defendant.
Achsanul Qosasi, a member of the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), faces allegations of accepting Rp 40 billion ($2.5 million) in connection with a project to construct base transceiver stations for 4G internet in remote areas of Indonesia, which was led by the Communication and Informatics Ministry.
Achsanul was detained following an interrogation at the Attorney General's Office (AGO) in South Jakarta.
"The investigation team has gathered incriminating evidence to designate [Achsanul] as a corruption suspect," Kuntadi, the AGO's director of special crimes, said in a news conference.Achsanul, wearing a pink detainee vest and handcuffed, was taken to the detention facility after undergoing a medical examination.
Achsanul was confirmed as one of the nine BPK members in a House of Representatives vote in 2019. Investigating a BPK member requires presidential approval, following a similar procedure that applies to lawmakers and ministers.
Achsanul is a prominent figure in Indonesian football, as he owns the top-tier club Madura United and previously held a position within the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI).
In a statement released last week, Achsanul denied any wrongdoing and asserted that it was the BPK that initially raised concerns about the internet infrastructure project. According to him, AGO prosecutors had consulted with the BPK during the preliminary investigation into the case.
"We discussed the case with AGO investigators at the BPK office," Achsanul said while promising to become cooperative with investigators.
At least eight defendants, including former Communication Ministry officials, are currently on trial in connection with the case. Achsanul became the subject of investigation after his name was mentioned by one of the defendants during a court hearing.
Prosecutors have demanded a prison sentence of 15 years for former minister Johnny Plate.