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Former Bank Indonesia top official stands bribery trial

Publication Date : 25-07-2012

 

In her first appearance as a graft defendant at the Jakarta Corruption Court, former senior deputy governor of Bank Indonesia Miranda Swaray Goeltom looked immaculate despite of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) defendant attire.

Goeltom looked dashing in the mandatory jacket with its collar turned up and matching grey skirt. With her dyed red hair expensively coiffured, she gave the impression of still being ready to attend the high society gatherings she frequented until recently.

She gave a million-dollar smile to photojournalists and TV camera crews who thronged the court room to get shots of her donning the attire, which has the slogan "Tahanan KPK" (The KPK's detainee) plastered on its chest.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the jacket ought to be taken off before defendants entered the court room to relieve them of all pressure.

Goeltom, was the first graft defendant to publicly don the soon-to-be-popular jacket.

In the trial that followed, the KPK's team of prosecutors charged Goeltom with Article 5 and Article 13 of Law No. 31/1999 on corruption, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and 250 million rupiah (US$26,500) in fines. She was accused of bribing members of the House of Representatives for their votes in her selection as BI senior deputy governor in 2004.

She was also indicted for ordering Nunun Nurbaeti, the wife of former National Police deputy chief Comr. Gen. (ret) Adang Daradjatun, to pay bribes to the lawmakers.

The prosecutors indicted Goeltom, together with Nurbaeti, for distributing 20.85 billion rupiah ($2.2 million) in the form of Bank International Indonesia's (BII) travellers' checks to lawmakers Hamka Yamdhu of the Golkar Party, Dudhie Makmun Murod of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Endin AJ Soefihara of the United Development Party (PPP) and Udju Djuhaeri of the Indonesian Military/National Police faction, in June 2004.

Goeltom, a professor of monetary economics at the University of Indonesia, denied the charges and maintained that she was innocent. In her defence plea, Goeltom maintained that she had never given any orders to distribute any checks.

"I had never heard of, nor seen, nor done myself, what was said to have been done by Nurbaeti to members of the House Commission XI. But here I am being named suspect by the KPK," she said.

Goeltom, who brought up famous quotes from figures like Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. in her defence statement, asked the panel of judges to drop the charges against her.

"The prosecutors have insisted on pressing ahead with their indictment, which is only based on assumptions," she said.

Goeltom's team of lawyers pointed out flaws in the indictment, saying that Article 13 of the corruption law could not be used against their client.

"The article carries a maximum sentence of three years, so it cannot be used against Goeltom because the alleged infringement occurred in June 2004. The article expired in June 2010," one of Goeltom's lawyers Dodi Abdulkadir said.

Goeltom's lawyers also pointed out that prosecutors failed to clearly define Goeltom's role in the case, whether she was a mastermind or an accomplice.

Goeltom was arrested by KPK investigators in June after undergoing nearly seven hours of interrogation. She was the last person to be questioned in relation to the 2004 vote-buying scandal. She is currently being detained at the KPK's new detention facility in the basement of the agency's headquarters in Kuningan, South Jakarta.

Twenty-eight lawmakers have been convicted for accepting bribes the case. Nurbaeti was sentenced to 2.5 years for her role.

Separately, chairman of the House's Commission XI Emir Moeis of the opposition PDI-P, once implicated in the scandal, has been banned from travelling abroad for his alleged involvement in yet another graft case.

"The KPK has ordered a travel ban on Emir Moeis to assist the investigation surrounding construction of Tarahan coal-fired power plant in Lampung in 2004," Budi said in a statement yesterday.

 

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