Pop Goes the Weasel!

Former Deputy Governor of Bali, Ketut Sudikerta, Behind Bars After Being Arrested Trying to Flee Bali to Escape Fraud, Embezzlement and Money Laundering Charges

Making headlines across Bali is the arrest of I Ketut Sudikerta, former Deputy Governor of Bali, at Ngurah Rai Airport on Thursday, April 4, 2019 while apparently trying to leave the Island for a flight to Jakarta from Terminal 3 and, police suggest, an onward flight to Singapore.

As reported by Balipost.com, police apprehended Sudikerta in the departure lounge and immediately escorted him to the central crime division at Provincial Police Headquarters to undergo intensive interrogation. Sudikerta was accompanied to Police Headquarters by a lawyer who was accompanying him at the airport at the time of his arrest at the Airport.

The former Deputy Governor is now officially listed as a defendant in a case of fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering involving a large parcel of land at Pecatu in South Bali. The criminal complaint sparking the investigation was made by Alim Markus who owns the PT Maspion Group in Surabaya who is claiming he was defrauded by Sudikerta.

On Friday, March 5, 2019, the day after Sudikerta’s arrest and detention, police officially listed the case as involving fraud and money laundering. Police also summoned as suspects Wayan Wakil (51) and Anak Agung Ngurah Agung (68) - two associates of the former deputy-governor. Police say the two men played a “very active” role in Sudikerta’s transaction with Markus, facilitating payment to Sudikerta for a parcel of land with falsified land certificates.

A spokesman from the criminal division confirmed that police have seized land and money totaling between Rp. 5 -10 billion from Sudikerta for safekeeping while the investigation continues. 

Markus told police that Maspion had paid Rp. 149 billion in two installments. Markus was told that one land certificate of the two covering the purchased land had been sold to a third party while the remaining certificate proved to be falsified.

Sudikerta’s Legal Team Resigns

In a related development, RadarBali.com reports that Sudikerta’s legal team from Togar Situmorang and Associates resigned en masse on Friday, April 5th, one day after Sudikerta’s arrest while trying to flee Bali.  The legal team distributed a formal written announcement of their resignation as Sudikerta’s defense team that was jointly singed by Togar Situmorang, Agustinus Nahak, Bagus Wiyono, and Teddy Raharjo.

In discussing the decision to no longer represent Sudikerta, Situmorang cited a lack of transparency from the former client and former deputy-governor. Togar Situmorang said that prior to Sudikerta’s arrest, he had obtained his former client’s agreement to report to police headquarters for questioning only to discover that Sudikerta had been arrested while trying to flee Bali in the company of a lawyer who was not a member of the "official" defense team.  While Togar was apparently waiting for his client to arrive as agreed at Police Headquarters, he received a telephone call from Sudikerta advising he had been arrested at the airport.

Situmorang, considered one of Indonesia’s most prominent lawyers, said he was confused and disappointed to learn that Sudikerta has been arrested in the company of another lawyer while trying to flee the jurisdiction. Togar told the press he knew nothing of the lawyer discovered with his client at the airport, incorrectly believing that his team were Sudikerta’s sole legal representatives.

Expressing profound disappointment with his client, Situmorang said that in keeping with the lawyer’s code of ethics  an attorney can resign from representing a client when the continued role of legal counsel was in conflict with a lawyer’s good conscience. Adding: “I have done this (resigned), because Sudikerta has appointed another lawyer to defend him in the current case. Thus, to allow the legal process involving Sudikerta to proceed in a more organized fashion, it is enough that he is represented by only one lawyer. This is being done for the benefit of Sudikerta and is therefore not correct to say I am abandoning my client.”

Sudikerta, once the chairman of the Golkar Party in Bali, has been stripped of his Golkar Party role.

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