Indonesian graft suspect ‘has left Singapore’

07-Jul-2011 Intellasia | AFP | 7:01 AM Print This Post

A former senior official in Indonesia’s ruling party named as a suspect in a graft case has left Singapore, the city-state’s foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry said it had informed Jakarta that Muhammad Nazaruddin, the former treasurer of the Indonesian president’s governing party, had left Singapore “long before” he was named as a suspect on June 30.

“Nazaruddin is not in Singapore and has not been here for some time,” it said in a statement.

The ministry said it issued the statement in response to queries “on the persistent allegations by the Indonesian media” about Nazaruddin’s presence in Singapore.

A former treasurer of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, Nazaruddin flew to Singapore in May shortly after the anti-graft commission linked him to a major bribery scandal, according to Indonesian press reports.

The case relates to alleged bribery in awarding contracts for the athletes’ village for the Southeast Asian Games in November.

Three people have been arrested over the deal, which is estimated to have cost nearly 200 billion rupiah ($2.3 million).

Nazaruddin was eventually sacked as party treasurer.

In its statement, Singapore’s foreign ministry said the city-state was willing to cooperate with Indonesia but noted that Nazaruddin had not been named as a suspect at the time he was in the city state.

It also said he had a valid Indonesian passport so “there was no reason to stop him from entering or leaving the country”.

Indonesian officials have complained for years that corruption suspects often flee to Singapore to avoid prosecution at home.

Singapore, a regional financial centre, denies it is turning a blind eye to the presence of such suspects but stresses it needs sufficient evidence to take action against them.

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Category: Singapore

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