Fana Suparman, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, confirmed that they would examine new information that emerged during a trial case that allegedly linked Mu'min Ali Gunawan, one of Indonesia's richest men, with a tax bribery case that implicated his bank, Bank Pan Indonesia, or Bank Panin.
"In principle, when a case is already being processed in court, we will see whether new facts emerge or not. If there is new information, the prosecutor will report to us and discuss the new developments," Karyoto, KPK's deputy of enforcement, said late on Wednesday.
Jakarta Corruption Court heard Wednesday an indictment against two former tax officials, Angin Prayitno Aji and Dadan Ramdani, from KPK prosecutors. The charge revealed that the two officers had received bribes from tax consultants from three companies, one of which was from Panin Bank tax attorney Veronika Lindawati.
The prosecutor cited Veronika as a confidant of Mu'min Ali Gunawan. Bank Panin assigned Veronika to negotiate the reduction of Bank Panin's tax liability.
As a result, Bank Panin's tax liability was decreased by two-thirds to Rp 303 billion from Rp 926 billion. Veronika promised Rp 25 billion to Angin, Dadan, and the tax audit team to negotiate this bribe.
However, Veronika allegedly did not pay the promised fee. After another member of the tax audit team questioned her, Veronika said that she had not fulfilled her promise because Mu'min Ali Gunawan had not yet paid for the commitment fee, according to the indictment. Veronika then gave Rp 5 billion to Angin and Dadan through the tax audit team.
Although the indictment reveals a direct request from Bank Panin to reduce the tax liability, the KPK has not yet revealed how they would move forward with the information of Mu'min Ali or Bank Panin's involvement.
"We will reveal more information as new developments arise," Karyoto said.
Samsul Huda, a lawyer who represents Bank Panin and Veronika in this case, said that his party respects the ongoing legal process and has been cooperative in the investigation so far.
Samsul Huda denied that Veronika negotiated a reduction in Panin Bank's tax liability. According to him, Veronika only questioned the findings of the tax audit team, as she found discrepancies within their data.
"Regarding the alleged gifts or bribes to officials at the DJP by Veronika Lindawati, we confirm that there were none given to tax officials or any other party," he said.
Samsul Huda also denied the involvement of Mu'min Ali Gunawan in the bribery case. As the owner of Bank Panin, he alleges that Mu'min Ali did not even know about this issue.
"All Bank Panin processes are decided by the board of directors. Those include tax objections and appeals to the tax court, which are all done following current regulations," he said.
KPK prosecutors reportedly charged Angin Prayitno Aji and Dadan Ramdani of accepting bribes totaling up to Rp 57 billion. They were accepted by Angin, Dadan, and the tax audit team to manipulate the tax liabilities of Panin Bank, Jhonlin Baratama, and Gunung Madu Plantations.
The tax officials received these bribes from three consultants and one tax attorney, namely, attorney Veronika Lindawati from Bank Panin; tax consultant Agus Susetyo from Jhonlin Baratama; and tax consultants Ryan Ahmad Ronas and Aulia Imran Magribi from Gunung Madu Plantations.