JAKARTA: Singapore has refuted reports citing Indonesian police officials which said that Singapore did not want to engage in cooperation on Extradition Treaty and Mutual Legal Assistance requests.
In a statement on Sunday (Apr 2), Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said Singapore and Indonesia enjoy good bilateral cooperation in law enforcement and in dealing with criminal matters.
MFA was responding to several local news reports citing Indonesian national police Head for International Relations Inspector-General Saiful Maltha saying that Indonesia had sent a draft of the extradition treaty to Singapore, but did not receive a reply.
Inspector-General Saiful was speaking to reporters on Thursday on investigations against Honggo Wendratno, the founder of PT Trans Pacific Petrochemical Indotama. Honggo was involved in an alleged corruption case in 2010 and Indonesian authorities believe he is hiding in Singapore.
Local reports also quoted the Secretary of the National Central Bureau Indonesia Brigadier-General Naufal Yahya saying that "Singapore lives on investment. If the suspect does not invest there, he would surely have been driven out on the pretext of overstaying."
A spokesman from the MFA said these comments were factually incorrect and mischievous.
"They also do not reflect the good cooperation between the two law enforcement agencies, especially coming from two senior officials," the spokesman added.
MFA said Singapore had clearly stated the facts of the issue on numerous occasions.
"Singapore and Indonesia signed the Extradition Treaty and Defence Cooperation Agreement as a package in April 2007 in Bali. The signing of the package was witnessed by then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Both agreements are still pending ratification by the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR). Singapore is ready to proceed with both agreements once Indonesia is ready to do so," said the MFA spokesman.
MFA added that Singapore has provided assistance to Indonesia on its Mutual Legal Assistance requests, and looks forward to receiving similar cooperation from Indonesia.
Last year, Singapore deported two Indonesians at the request of Jakarta for alleged graft cases. Indonesia's former football association chairman La Nyalla Mattalitti was sent back in June, and two months earlier, Indonesian businessman Hartman Aluwi was also turned away from Singapore.