Wednesday, August 10, 2011


      Jakarta, Aug 10, 2011 (ANTARA) - After being on the run in three continents for about 75 days, Nazaruddin, the former Democrat Party treasurer suspected of involvement in a corruption case, was finally arrested by Colombian Police recently.
       Nazaruddin was caught in Cartagena, a small town located over 600 km from Bogota, Colombia, South America, on Sunday (August 7, 2011), by local police who suspected him of using a fake passport.

       In fact, Nazar had been using a passport belonging to his relative named Syarifuddin, who also lives in Medan, North Sumatra. The passport was issued by the Medan immigration office.
       Syarifuddin told the Medan police on Tuesday (August 9) that he had used his passport for the last time on June 26, 2011, and after that he did not realize that his passport had gone until he heard from television news that Nazaruddin was using his passport.
       There are many versions of information about his hideouts abroad and his arrest in Colombia, and these could only be clarified when Nazar returns.
       It was believed that he had fled the country via Batam airport in Riau Islands Province by a chartered plane on May 23, a day before the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) imposed a travel ban on him.
       Nazar was accused of having accepted bribe money in a project from the government to build an athletes` dormitory for the upcoming SEA Games event in Palembang, South Sumatra.
       Some reports said he had gone to Singapore, and other information said he also went to Malaysia, where he reportedly left his kid (or kids?). He apparently continued his flight from the law with his wife, Neneng Sri Wahyuni.
       Early in July, the Police and the KPK officially announced that they were hunting down Nazar. The National Police Headquarters had issued a red notice, which was also sent to Interpol to help bring the politician home.

"We are doing our best in bringing him back to Indonesia," National Police Chief General Police Timur Pradopo said recently.

National Police spokesman Inspector General Anton Bachrul Alam said in Jakarta on Monday (August 8) that cooperation between the Indonesian police and the International Police (Interpol) has resulted in the arrest of Muhammad Nazaruddin in Cartagena, Colombia.

"I knew about it at 8 am WIB (Western Indonesian Standard Time). The Police Chief reported to the President at 10 am WIB. Our team is there," Anton told the press.

The police headquarters now just waited for the three-member team to return from the country where Nazaruddin was caught, he said.

According to the police spokesman, Nazaruddin had departed from Singapore to Vietnam and then he had gone to Cambodia and by a chartered plane to Bogota through Madrid, Spain, and the Republic of Dominica.

"He is being picked up. The team left yesterday (Aug 8)," Gen Timur said.

Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said the National Police deserved appreciation for their hard work leading to M Nazaruddin` arrest.

The arrest also proved that speculation accusing the national police and KPK as not working seriously to find Nazaruddin, was wrong, Pasha said on Monday.

Deputy House Speaker Pramono Anung Wibowo, however, said Nazaruddin`s arrest by Colombia`s local police was due to bad luck.

"Muhammad Nazaruddin was not caught by Indonesian police but by Colombian police who suspected him of holding a forged passport," Pramono said at the Parliament building on Tuesday.

The Colombian police did not arrest him because of his involvement in the bribery case linked to the Sea Games athletes village project, he said, adding that the arrest occurred when the local police conducting a raid, suspected Nazaruddin of having used a forged passport.

Professor of International Law Hikmahanto Juwono said in Jakarta on Wednesday (August 10), Indonesia needed to appreciate the government of Colombia over the arrest of Nazaruddin in that country.

Colombian immigration and police had worked professionally with regard to detecting Nazaruddin`s passport which actually was not his, according to Hikmahanto.

"This did not happen in countries where Nazaruddin had stopped over previously, including in some member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) after he had left Singapore," he said.

Hikmahanto from state University of Indonesia proposed that the Indonesian government convey its appreciation to the Colombian government expected to soon deport Nazaruddin to Indonesia.

Colombian immigration officers who had suspected and later arrested Nazaruddin, he said, also deserved the bounty money a mass organization had pledged to pay, according to him.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the Colombian government had finally accepted certain legal arguments the Indonesian government had forwarded and agreed to hand Nazaruddin over to Indonesia.

"At 5 pm Colombian time today (Wednesday, August 10), Nazaruddin will be handed to the Colombian immigration office and then turned over to the Indonesian government," Marty said at the presidential complex.

According to Law and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar, the Indonesian government is waiting for Nazaruddin`s deportation by the Colombian government, or otherwise will ask for his extradition although the two countries have no extradition agreement.

The government hoped Nazaruddin would be deported and for that purpose the ministry had sent an official letter on the revocation of Nazaruddin`s passport.

But in case the Colombian government did not deport Nazar, former lawmaker, the ministry has prepared a letter requesting Colombia to extradite Nazar, Patrialis said. ***3***


(T.F001/A/F001/B003) 11-08-2011 01:20:00

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