Son of Indonesian Minister a Suspect in Fatal Crash

By Jakarta Globe 4 January 2013

JAKARTA—The youngest son of Indonesia’s top economic minister has been declared a suspect in an investigation into a fatal traffic accident that claimed the lives of two people, a Jakarta Police spokesman said on Wednesday.

M. Rasyid Amrullah Rajasa, the 22-year-old son of Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa, was the driver of a BMW X5 luxury SUV that rammed into a Luxio van at high speed on Tuesday morning, killing two of the van’s occupants.

“He has now become a suspect because he was the one driving and hit [the van] from behind,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said of the accident, which took place on Jakarta’s Jagorawi toll road.

Rikwanto declined to say whether Rasyid would be detained. “Let us wait for the results of the questioning by investigators,” he said.

Rikwanto said Rasyid was driving the BMW at a speed of about 100 kilometers per hour when he hit the Luxio van from behind.

Police said tests for several drugs and alcohol came back negative for Rasyid, but the minister’s son could face more than five years in prison for driving while fatigued or negligence resulting in severe injury or death.

Rasyid was also slightly injured in the accident and remains hospitalized, where he was said to be suffering from trauma.

Rikwanto said Rasyid, who was reportedly the lone occupant of the SUV, had already undergone preliminary questioning and would be subject to further questioning once his health improved.

Meanwhile, one of the victims’ family members on Wednesday said they were willing to refrain from taking the case to court if an out-of-court settlement could be reached.

“I have met with the family of Enung and Eman and they are prepared to settle the matter in a family way and through deliberation,” said Sukardi, an uncle of 14-month-old crash fatality Raihan, referring to the parents of the dead toddler.

“We understand that Mr. Hatta Rajasa cannot meet us and he can just send a representative. But they should be really serious in settling this matter,” he added.

Sukardi said a representative of the Rajasa family had briefly met with them at the hospital on Tuesday.

“What is certain is that they asked for forgiveness and were willing to bear all the costs,” he said.

Sukardi’s statement contradicted one made earlier by a relative of the other fatality, 57-year-old Harun. Harun’s son-in-law Suparman on Tuesday vowed to take legal action.

Raihan was buried at a family grave in the West Java district of Sukabumi. Raihan’s mother Enung, 30, the toddler’s older brother Rifan and another relative, 30-year-old Supriyati, were still being treated in hospital.

Meanwhile, lawmaker Eva Kusuma Sundari from House of Representatives Commission III on legal affairs, said it would set a bad precedent if Hatta intervened in the police’s investigation of his son.

“It would be better for the police and Mr. Hatta Rajasa if there is no intervention and discrimination in this case and a respect is shown for due process of law,” Eva said.

“Therefore I remind all that there should not be a bad precedent [set] for law enforcement involving a public official.”