Bribe Allegation in Panwas Recruitment Process in North Sumatera (Part 1)

A member of the Assistance Team for Violation Prosecution of the Elections Monitoring Body (Bawaslu) of North Sumatera, Julius A. L. Turnip, and a member of Bawaslu of North Sumatera, Hardi Munthe, are being sued and reported by a participant of the Elections Monitoring Committee (Panwaslu) member recruitment process, Pangulu Siregar, to the Election Management Body Honor Council (DKPP.). Pangulu says, Turnip, under Hardi’s order, requested money as much as 30 million rupiahs to Pangulu to help him pass the written examination process.

The first trial of the case was held by DKPP on Monday (09/25). Pangulu was present accompanied by his legal advisor, while Turnip and Hardi were present with another person acting as defense witness. There were also the Chairman and Chief of Secretariat of Bawaslu of North Sumatera. Acting as presiding judge was Ida Budhiati from DKPP, assisted by Alfitra Salam.

Pangulu’s Delation

Pangulu admitted that it was he who first contacted the staff members of Bawaslu, including the Chairman, Syafrida R. Rasahan, Hardi, and Turnip, to ask for tips and recommendations in undergoing the selection and recruitment process. Pangulu sent text messages and made several phone calls to introduce himself.

“I texted Hardi Munthe. I extended hospitality and greeted him politely, and then I introduced myself as a participant of the recruitment process. I also texted Julius Turnip, but he never reply to my messages. He called me instead,” says Pangulu.

Pangulu knows Turnip since he started working as a member of Panwaslu. Turnip had once worked as a facilitator during technical workshop for new Panwaslu members and Pangulu was a participant. Pangulu also knows Syafrida when she was working as a member of Sub-District Voting Committee (PPK) in East Kisaran.

Pangulu then told the story on how he met with Turnip and a friend of his who introduced himself as Sitorus on July 7th 2017 at Duren Ucok, Medan. During the meeting, Turnip asked for dowry money as much as 30 million rupiahs.

“Turnip asked for 30 million. I bargained for 20 million, but he told me that 30 million is the final price because other participants also pay for 30 million. I then agreed with 30 million, but I told I can only pay after the written examination test has finished. He insisted that I pay before the exam,” says Pangulu.

Pangulu had to borrow money from relatives to pay Turnip. After he get all the money, Pangulu delivered the money to Turnip on July 13th at Alzairi Hotel, Medan, at around ten o’clock in the evening. Turnip then gave Pangulu a stack of documents containing all the questions for the examination. Pangulu testified that 80 percent of the questions in the documents are actually appeared on the actual examination questions sheet.

“There are 200 questions on the documents provided by Turnip. Most of the questions are the actual questions as appear on the examination sheet,” says Pangulu.

A few days after the examination, Turnip called Pangulu to tell him that he failed the test. Turnip then said he could change the test result for another 20 million. Pangulu said he doesn’t have that much of money and asked Turnip to pay back the previous 30 million bribe money.

“Turnip asked me to come to Medan to retrieve my money. I said to him that I wasn’t able to go to Medan that day and asked him to send my money via ATM, which he did,” says Pangulu.

During the trial, Pangulu provided several evidences, including a record of text messages between him, Turnip, and Sitorus, his personal bank statement, and original voice record of conversation between him and Turnip at Alzairi Hotel, Medan.

“I have requested the CCTV video recording file to Duren Ucok and Alzairi Hotel, but they said only police officer has the authority to ask for such recording. I also asked for phone calls record from Telkomsel, but like Duren Ucok and Alzairi Hotel, they said they can only provide it for police officer,” says Pangulu.