West Papua Councillors Grilled Over Rp 22 Billion Graft

JAYAPURA CITY - The Papua Prosecutors' Office is investigating all 43 members of the West Papua Legislative Council for the alleged embezzlement of Rp 22 billion (US$1.95 million) from the 2010 provincial budget.

"We are still in the investigation process and all the West Papua councillors have been named suspects," the Papua Prosecutors' Office chief ESM Hutagalung told reporters in Jayapura on Wednesday.

The money was allegedly embezzled by borrowing the funds held by the West Papua provincial administration and previously managed by provincial-owned enterprise PT Papua Doberai Mandiri (Padoma), which was run by director Mamad Suhadi.

Hutagalung said borrowing the money was a violation of regulations although most of the funds, Rp 19 billion, had been repaid to PT Padoma.

The funds were disbursed and distributed to the 43 councillors by West Papua Provincial Secretary Marthen Luther Rumadas

Although all councillors have been named suspects, the legal process will be conducted in several dossiers.

The first dossier concerns Mamad, Marthen and West Papua Legislative Council Speaker Josef Yohan Auri.

Mamad has been detained while the detentions of Marthen and Josef have been postponed due to their alleged ill health. [TheJakartaPost]
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