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AGO summons Plate again for BTS graft case

Jakarta Post - February 13, 2023

Nur Janti, Jakarta – The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has again summoned Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate for questioning for alleged corruption in the construction of base transceiver stations (BTS), which was under the auspices of his ministry.

The minister failed to turn up at the first summons on Thursday as he was required to attend a National Press Day event in Medan, North Sumatra, where President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo delivered a speech.

AGO spokesperson Ketut Sumedana said that an investigation team under the assistant attorney general for extraordinary crimes (Jampidsus) was set to question Plate on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.

On Monday, Plate attended a meeting at House of Representatives Commission I, overseeing defense, foreign affairs, information and intelligence, to discuss the revision of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law.

But he was tight-lipped when asked by journalists whether he would answer the AGO summons.

The BTS construction project is headed by the Telecommunications and Information Accessibility Agency (BAKTI), an agency under the Communications and Information Ministry. The graft case is believed to have cost the state Rp 1 trillion (US$64 million).

As of last week, the AGO investigation team had named five people as suspects after questioning some 60 people about the BTS procurement project.

The five suspects are BAKTI president director Anang Achmad Latif, PT Mora Telematika Indonesia president director Galumbang Menak Simanjuntak, the University of Indonesia human development expert Yohan Suryanto, PT Huawei Investment account director Mukti Ali and PT Solitech Media Sinergy commissioner Irwan Hermawan.

The BTS procurement project began in 2020 after Plate was installed as minister in October 2019. By 2023, the ministry was supposed to have erected some 8,000 4G BTS towers in underdeveloped, frontier and outermost regions (3T).

But, in the first development phase, which had a budget of Rp 10 trillion, the ministry only attained half of its target of 4,200 BTS towers by 2021. The project's major delays raised suspicions of graft. (ahw)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/02/13/ago-summons-plate-again-for-bts-graft-case.htm