Indonesia State Prosecutors Release Chevron Workers From Prison
by I Made Sentana
|Dow Jones Newswires
|Wednesday, November 28, 2012
JAKARTA--Indonesian state prosecutors have released four workers of Chevron Corp. (CVX) after the South Jakarta District Court Tuesday issued an injunction ordering their release.
"They have been released from prison," Mr. Suhendri, head of public relations at the Attorney General's office told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday, adding that the attorney general's office plans to continue the investigation.
The workers were detained in September after they were named suspects in an investigation into alleged corruption at a soil bioremediation project in Sumatra, on fears that they destroy evidences or flee the country.
The investigators alleged the project, headed by PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia, a Chevron subsidiary in Indonesia, is "fictional" because the work to remove oil particles and other waste from soil wasn't completed as promised, resulting in a $23.4 million loss to the state.
The four Chevron workers later contested their detention by filing a petition at the district court, citing they had been charged without legal grounds.
The arrests sent a chill through Indonesia's oil and gas industry as it could set a new precedent with wide-ranging consequences for the future of the oil and gas industry in Indonesia.
"We are pleased with the court decision ordering the release of our staff during the investigation," said Chevron Pacific Indonesia's President Director Hamid Batubara in a news release.
Mr. Batubara maintained that the bioremediation project has been approved and supervised by the relevant government bodies.
Chevron is the largest producer of crude oil in Indonesia, with 40% market share.
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