Djoko Tjandra creates business empire in PNG
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Minister of Justice and Human Rights Amir Syamsuddin says he sent a letter seeking Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) to the government of Papua New Guinea this month, requesting Papua New Guinea to immediately return the fugitive in the Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance (BLBI) case, Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra, to Indonesia.
The MLA was sent because Indonesia and Papua New Guinea does not have an extradition treaty. So far there has been no response yet. "The decision to approve the request or the extradition is entirely the right of the petitioned country," Amir said.
But the government is pessimistic the request for Joko’s extradition will be approved anytime soon. Deputy Attorney General Darmono is certain that Joko has successfully developed a property business and plantation in Papua New Guinea. In fact, one of Joko’s goals to change his citizenship was to strengthen his business in that country. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is concerned it may cause for Papua New Guinea to be half-hearted to assist Indonesia.
Based on the AGO’s investigation, Joko has a business under the umbrella of Naima Agro Industries Limited. In the company located in Bereina, about 160 kilometers from Port Moresby, Joko has invested US$2 billion, or around Rp18 trillion on an area of 100 thousand hectares.
Joko became a fugitive in the case of (cessie) Bank Bali’s cessie (transfer of the right to collect) worth Rp904 billion, handled by the AGO. From September 29, 1999 to August 2000, the AGO did detain Joko. But the South Jakarta District Court judges ruled he was free from prosecution because the case was not criminal, but civil.
In October 2008, the AGO filed a judicial review case with the Supreme Court and it was approved. But, before he was thrown into prison, Joko fled from Indonesia to Port Moresby on June 10, 2009, just one day before the Supreme Court issued a decision of his case. If still in Indonesia, Joko would have been imprisoned for two years and would have had to pay a fine of Rp15 million.
By Indra Wijaya, Aryani Kristanti, Bobby Chandra
24 July 2012