I have discovered that the NGO Indonesian Corruption Watch
has an English version of their website. You can access it here
or among the links on the right for Firefox
users, or floating somewhere at the bottom if you're still content with I.E.
Meanwhile, the soon-to-be-ex-President Megawati Soekarnoputri yesterday swore in a team of nine non-career judges which will try high-profile corruption cases involving state officials in the newly constituted Anticorruption Court
. The court has the authority to deal with graft cases brought in by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) which only deals with cases involving state officials and a minimum of Rp 1 billion (c.US$100,000).
And about time.
So what is the story involving Mega receiving oil-for-profit vouchers from Saddam Hussein?
Firstly, this is not a new story. The earliest report
I can find is dated 31st January when the Iraqi newspaper, Al-Mada, published its list of more than 200 individuals and organisations allegedly given oil by Saddam Hussein's regime. It ran from the Russian Orthodox Church to former French ministers, from the Timber Department in Burma to the British MP George Galloway and on and on
The Iraqi Oil Ministry has since backed the report, saying the document is authentic and that it is
(was) preparing to prosecute people involved in what it portrays as the massive illegal stripping of Iraqi assets under the U.N. Oil For Food program
Vouchers for tens of millions of barrels of oil, given as presents or bribes or illegal payments to friends and supporters, is how the new Iraqi Government characterises this.
On a list that contained several prime ministers and heads of state, it was easy at first to overlook the presence of the President of Indonesia, Megawati Sukarnoputri. According to Al-Mada she received coupons worth eight million barrels of oil at some point between 1999 and 2002. These vouchers could be resold for handsome profits.
Another name on the list was Amien Rais, the then Parliamentary Chairman and future failed Presidential candidate who was listed as having receiving vouchers for four million barrels of oil.
Neither Mega nor Amien deigned to comment then and I somehow doubt that they'll comment now that this story has resurfaced
with the publication of the Iraq Survey Group Report on WMD in Iraq
. The Iraq Survey Group, incidentally, was set up by George Bush and run under the auspices of the CIA. Its leader, Charles Duelfer first came to prominence as an appointee of President Bush's father. The report serves to deflect attention
away from Bush and Blair onto those countries and politicians who opposed the invasion of Iraq.
Due to the lousy service from our ISPs here, I failed to complete the massive download, but I was busy scanning it whilst trying to do so. There seemed to be many inferences and implications and the use of the word 'possible', so I'll reserve judgement until Mega speaks.
Given that she has yet to concede the presidential election to SBY, this probably means that we'll never know about her relationship with Saddam, if any.