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BlackGold CEO, two other executives called as witnesses in bribery probe

THREE employees of BlackGold Natural Resources group have been called for interview as witnesses to assist in an ongoing investigation by Indonesia's Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) or Corruption Eradication Commission, the coal mining company said in a Singapore Exchange filing late on Sunday night.

The employees are Philip Cecil Rickard, BlackGold's executive chairman and chief executive officer; James Rijanto, chief investment officer and executive director; and, Rudy Herlambang, president director of BlackGold subsidiary PT Samantaka Batubara.

The Catalist-listed company said it has consulted legal counsels and wished to clarify that under Indonesian law, a witness is defined as a party believed to know of a criminal act done by a suspect, but who is not suspected of committing a crime.

BlackGold has handed over relevant information and documents related to the Riau-1 Project to KPK, and will continue to extend its fullest cooperation in the investigation. Further announcements will be made as and when there are significant developments in relation to this matter, the group said.

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It added that business and operations of the group will continue as normal, and shareholders and potential investors are reminded to exercise caution in dealing in the securities of the company.

Previously, BlackGold said in a July 16 announcement that the group and its Riau-1 Project had been mentioned in the KPK investigation into bribery allegations involving Indonesian lawmaker Eni Maulani Saragih and Johanes Budisutrisno Kotjo, who was described in media reports as a BlackGold shareholder. It said that the scandal was extraneous to the group and would not affect BlackGold's ongoing mining operations.