State TV Boss Named Graft Suspect
Jakarta. A director at state-owned television channel TVRI has been named a corruption suspect for allegedly marking up the budget of several broadcasting programs in 2012.
Irwan Hendarmin, the director for television programming and public broadcasting at the station, was named a suspect by the Attorney General’s Office on Thursday for his role in inflating the costs of at least five programs.
“From our investigation, we have found enough evidence that proves Irwan’s involvement in the case,” Tony Spontana, a spokesman for the Attorney General, told reporters on Thursday night.
The Attorney General’s Office started investigating the case in 2012 after it received reports of irregularities in the way five television programs were tendered.
A budget of Rp 47.8 billion ($3.7 million) was put forward for the shows, to be produced by private companies, in June 2012. The Attorney General’s Office believes that costs were inflated, leading to state losses of Rp 3.6 billion.
The production houses involved were Media Art Image, Arum Citra Mandiri, Kharisma Starvision Plus, Kreasi Imaji Nusantara and A Man International.
Iwan Chermawan, the president director of Media Art Image, and TVRI executive Yulkasmir have already been named suspects in the case.
Two other TVRI executives — Triyono and Eddy Mahmudi Effendi — have recently been questioned as witness, Tony said.
“We asked them the chronological process of the project and how it was conducted,” Tony said.
The corruption allegations aren’t the only ones to hit the state broadcaster, which is based in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
Sumita Tobing, the former director of TVRI, was arrested in March last year for allegedly misappropriating funds for broadcasting equipment, amounting to Rp 5.2 billion.
TVRI was Indonesia’s first broadcasting station and enjoyed a monopoly on television broadcasting until 1989. It was established in 1961 by President Sukarno to coincide with the 1962 Asian Games, which were held in Jakarta.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe