Billy’s fate postponed

Unspun’s been told that the long-awaited Corruption Court verdict on former Lippo executive Billy Sindoro has been postponed today because Billy is suffering from diarrhea, fever and headache.

The verdict has now been adjourned to 11am tomorrow. Will he be found guilty of bribing KPPU member Muhammed Iqbal? Or merely gratifying Iqbal? Or will he go to jail? (Speculation among journalists is between 3-4 years).

It’s now out in the open: Mediacare curator says he’s representing Billy

There is one lesson that those who dabble in the blogosphere and the Net should never forget: there is nowhere to hide.

It’s OK to advocate something, its OK to be passionate and to take sides but at all times you need to disclose your motives or where you are coming from or your street creds take a hit.

Such is the case with Mediacare, a mailing list in Yahoo Groups and now a blog by Radityo. Observers became very suspicious when all of a sudden the owner of the mailing list and the blog took a sudden passionate interest in the Billy Sindoro case.

The suspicions have come to a crescendo. Today one of Unspun‘s colleagues responded to Radityo’s request for topics and speakers on the mailing list in this thread. He asked if this talkshow would be neutral and whether it would be free from payments. He was careful to disclose that his PR firm represented Astro.

Then another member of the mailing list by the name of Gita Mayana adds her comment to the mailing list. her comment:

gmana mau bebas nilai..? lha wong penggagasnya aja media konsultannya Lippo.. Tapi oke, saya usul, ambil narsumnya Halim Mahfud, jubirnya PT Direct Vision.

To which Radityo responded:

Wah Mbak Gita dapat “bisikan” dari Mama Laurens ya kok bisa nebak-nebak kalau saya media konsultannya Lippo?

Tapi sayangnya salah tuh tebakannya. Sepertinya Lippo punya konsultan media sendiri deh, dan nama saya tak tercantum disitu.

Biar tidak salah sangka, perlu saya jelaskan bahwa 2 bulan lalu saya diminta gabung dalam tim humas Gani Djemat & Partners. Di tahun ini dan tahun depan ada beberapa kliennya yang perlu dukungan litigation PR. Kebetulan law firm ini ditunjuk oleh Billy Sindoro pribadi untuk menangani kasus hukum yang dihadapinya. Saya tegaskan, Billy Sindoro pribadi, sama sekali tak ada kaitannya dengan Grup Lippo.

Semoga Mbak Gita jadi jelas. Btw, Mbak Gita bekerja di media mana?



So now the truth is out. Radityo’s sudden interst in the Billy Sindoro case is because he’s been retained by Billy Sindoro to provide Litigation Support for Gani Djemat & Partners. Unspun’s question is this: Should Radityo have declared that the contents on his blog and mailing list had something to do with his client from the outset? Dos this affect the credibility of mediacare as a forum of discussion for journalists and communicators?

(Unspun‘s disclosure: Read the About page. Also, readers need to know that although Unspun‘s firm represents Astro, the client has not asked Unspun to blog anything on their behalf. Unspun blogged about this issue because he feels that something needs to be unspun in Mediacare. Unspun would also love to debate Radityo head on, mano-a-mano or blogger-a-blogger, on the points he’s trying to make on the Billy Sindoro case.)

Mediacare takes great interest in Billy Sindoro case

Why is Radityo Djadjoeri, the owner and administrator of Mediacare, the Yahoo mailing list for journalists and communicators, and also the blog, taking an inordinate interest in the Billy Sindoro case?

On Tuesday 16 December he posted a message entitled Talkshow: Kasus hukum yang membelit bisnis TV berbayar (Talkshow: The legal case that’s inimical to Pay TV, but you have to be a member to access the mailing list though) in which he said he (kami) would like to organize an on-air and off-air talkshow on the court case that is inimical to pay TV in Indonesia.

He then called for suggestions from the readers on topics that could be discussed, as well as suggestions for possible speakers, in such a talkshow.

And yesterday, 18 December, Radityo took issue with Koran Tempo, again in another posting in  Mediacare. He objcted to three points in Koran Tempo’s coverage of the Anti-Corruption Court’s hearing of the Billy Sindoro case headlined KPPU bribecase implicates Golkar politician.

In this posting Radityo makes three points: 1. That Billy Sindoro is no longer the President Director of PT First Media, the Lippo-controlled company that owns PT Direct Vision (and also no longer a member of the Board of Commissioners of Bank Lippo), 2) Billy was not caught red-handed passing the black bag containing the bribe money to Iqbal and 3)Billy did not comment on the KPK witness’s explanation.

The first two points are consistent with the strategy adopted by Billy’s defense lawyer, Humphrey Djemat. The strategy is to portray Billy as acting on his own rather than on behalf of someone else, even though it makes no sense for Billy to act as an individual to protect the interests of the group that he no longer belongs to.

The point about Billy not being caught red-handed passing the black bag of money to Iqbal is also consistent with Humphrey’s defence strategy, which is to imply that if the KPK does not really have solid evidence of the actual transaction taking place, then it has failed to prove that a crime has taken place. Video shots by the KPK, which was carried by Okezone, show Billy and Iqbal going into a lift with Billy carrying the bag. The next shots are of Billy coming out of the lift without the bag. Another shot is of Iqbal with the bag.

The third point is interesting because in it Radityo admits that he had sat in Billy’s trial from morning to afternoon. Its an inordinate amount of time to spend in court unless there is some spcial interest involved.

In his blog Radityo has also begun posting frequently and intensively on the Billy Sindoro case since December 8 when before postings were infrequent and showed little interest in matters surrounding the KPPU case.

So why is Radityo so interested in the case?many journalists have become curious. Perhaps Pak Radityo would care to drop by this blog and let us all know?

(Unspun’s disclosure: see the about page)

Billy on the skids

Unspun guesses that one could see significance in Lippo Group Executive Billy Sindoro being indicted in the Anti Corruption Court on International  Anticorruption Day Tuesday.

Earlier Unspun had wondered how the Lippo Group publication Jakarta Globe would cover the trial. Would they even bother to report it? Would they disclose their common interest?

To their credit they reported the hearing and they also DID disclose that “First Media and the Jakarta Globe are associated companies of the Lippo Group.”

Their story also had one fact that the Post did not have – when the trial will resume. Its a small piece of information but one that’s useful to anyone who’s interested in the progress of the case. But the post had a bit of a gem in its last paragraphs:

Billy’s lawyer, BS Humphrey Djemat said they would not argue the charges.

However, he underlined that Billy had not held a position at any of Lippo Group’s companies since June 8, 2008.

So we are now to believe that Billy was unemployed since June and that Billy is now meeting Iqbal and allegedly paying him Rp500 million of his own money…for what? Curiouser and curiouser this case gets.

How did the Post do compared to the Globe in reporting this hearing so far? Well, Unspun thinks they were both quite equal but you decide for yourself and let the newspaper owners and editors know what your think with the survey below of the Post‘s  (Page 1) and the Globe‘s (Page A6) coverage (you may also want to see how both papers fared overall in this earlier posting):

So much for straight reporting. Now, what about going for the story beyond the surface, as good papers should?

There are some very interesting questions that the Billy Sindoro indictment raises, mainly:

  1. Was Billy, as his defense counsel seem to suggest, acting onhis on, a rogue element within the Lippo Group? If so what are his motives to bribe Iqbal, if he acted alone?
  2. If Billy bribed the KPPU to insert in an Injunction (No. 5) in its  verdict shouldn’t the KPPU review its invstigation and the investigation in other cases?
  3. How is it that the Central Jakarta District Court could uphold KPPU’s verdict in its ruling on 2 December?

Now that we have some real competition among the English language media which publication would be the first to practice real journalism and ask the difficult questions, rather than carry out spot reporting?

(disclosure: Unspun‘s posts may involve clients now and again but all posts here reflect Unspun‘s personal opinions and not his clients’. Neither are posts made  on the behest of clients. In fact, they usually think that Unspun‘s a bit daft when he speaks to them about New Media)

Court to hear indictments against businessman in bribery case | The Jakarta Post

Unspun wonders how the Jakarta Globe, Investor Daily and Merdeka will cover this tomorrow? All of the publications and Billy have one common factor, they have James Riady as their boss. Will there be disclosure in these publications (Billy works for the Lippo Group, which also owns this publication)? Will there be fairness and balance in their coverage? Wednesday’s paper should give us an indication of how business ownership influences (or not) the media they own.

Court to hear indictments against businessman in bribery case

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Mon, 12/08/2008 2:50 PM | National

The Corruption Court is scheduled to hear indictments Tuesday against businessman Billy Sindoro for bribing an official at the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU).

Sarjono Turin, prosecutor in this case, told Monday the court would charge Billy with article 5 of the 1999 corruption law on bribery.

“We will also charge him with a subsidiary indictment under article 13 of the law,” he said.

In September the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested Billy, former director of PT First Media, and KPPU member Muhammad Iqbal after Billy had given Iqbal a bag containing Rp 500 million (US$41,600) in cash.

The money was an alleged payment to garner favor with the KPPU so that commission would rule against an accusation that First Media had illicitly secured monopoly broadcasting rights for English Premier League soccer matches. The KPPU did, in fact, rule in First Media’s favor. (ewd)

via Court to hear indictments against businessman in bribery case | The Jakarta Post.