Apandi refused to comment.
Former attorney-general Apandi Ali’s alleged role in brokering freedom for Indonesian graft fugitive Djoko Tjandra, who is said to be in Malaysia, surfaced during the Indonesian current affairs talk show, Mata Najwa, last night.
The host Najwa Shihab had posed the question to Indonesia’s former attorney-general HM Prasetyo, who in turn claimed that Apandi suggested dropping a 2009 conviction against the businessman.
Contacted by Malaysiakini, Apandi said: “I have no comment, I refuse to comment.”
Asked if he had responded to this allegation in the past, Apandi said he would not entertain queries from Malaysiakini.
Meanwhile, Prasetyo recalled that Apandi made the alleged suggestion at the sidelines of an Asean-China Attorney-Generals Congress held in Nanning, China, in 2016.
“I remember it very well […] we were in the middle of attending the congress. Among fellow attorney-generals in Asean and China, we have a close relationship.
“Because of our close cooperation, this friend of ours, Malaysia’s attorney-general Apandi Ali, took time to speak to me,” he added during last night’s episode.
Djoko’s current status of residence in Malaysia was revealed by his lawyer, Anita Kolopaking, who also appeared as a guest on the show.
“His exact position is in Kuala Lumpur,” said Anita, adding that she has been in close contact with her client.
Djoko first made headlines in Malaysia in May 2015, when he was linked to the then planned development of 1MDB’s Signature Tower in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) through Indonesian property developer Mulia Group and its local subsidiary.
This was despite Interpol listing him as a wanted person at the time for having reportedly fled Indonesia a day before the republic’s Supreme Court sentenced him to two years in prison and slapped him with a Rupiah 15 million (RM4,300) fine.
At the time, Mulia Group, however, said Djoko no longer holds positions or shares within the group. It further clarified that the 1MDB-linked investment was driven by Eka Tjandranegara, the group’s president-director and owner, who is also Djoko’s brother.
During the talk show, Prasetyo narrated his alleged conversation with Apandi, which ended with him turning down the former Malaysian AG’s purported suggestion and instead urged for Djoko to return and serve his time in prison.
“Mr Attorney-General, I have a friend,” Prasetyo said quoting Apandi. “How about if Djoko Tjandra is allowed to return to Indonesia as a free man?”
Prasetyo said he then told Apandi, “until now his status is a fugitive.”
“If now he is in your place (Malaysia), then tell him to return. I will treat him well,”
The Jakarta Post yesterday reported that Djoko failed to attend the hearing of a case review he filed against his 2009 conviction. He requested the hearing to be held virtually as he is residing in Kuala Lumpur.
His attorney Andi Putra Kusuma reportedly read out a letter signed by Djoko in Kuala Lumpur on July 17, which cited health issues as the reason for his absence.
Djoko’s return to Indonesia undetected to file for a review had sparked outrage in the republic. He was also reportedly issued a new Indonesian electronic identification card while his Interpol red notice was lifted.
Since then, Indonesian media reported that three high-ranking police officers have been removed from their posts over their alleged involvement in helping Djoko. – Malaysiakini