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Another Indonesian lawmaker lands in jail

Publication Date : 19-10-2012

 

The Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced yesterday former House of Representatives member Wa Ode Nurhayati to six years in prison for accepting bribes from private businessmen and money laundering.

A panel of judges at the corruption court found Nurhayati, 31, guilty of accepting 6.25 billion rupiah (US$650,000) in bribes from three businessmen to disburse the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (DPID), a temporary budget project that allocates funds to several less-developed regions in Indonesia.

The bribes from the three businessmen Fahd El-Fouz, Saul Paulus David Nelwan and Abram Noach Mambu were then wired by Nurhayati's personal assistant, Sefa Yolanda, to her personal account, which constituted a violation of the Money Laundering Law.

Prosecutors sought 14 years for Nurhayati, combining bribery and money-laundering charges, an unprecedented move in the prosecution of graft cases in the country.

Judge Suhartoyo said that mitigating factors that could help Nurhayati's cause were that she showed good behaviour during the trial and that she had never been convicted before.

The court judges ordered her to pay a 500 million rupiah fine. Nurhayati said she would appeal the verdict.

"I have prepared for the worst. I am steadfast and I sincerely do not hold any grudge against the court. I hope this experience turns into a good deed in the eyes of God," she told reporters.

Initially, Nurhayati served as a whistle-blower who first disclosed alleged illicit practices in the deliberation of the state budget, including Infrastructure Development Acceleration Programme (PPID) funds, before the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) decided to move against her.

She was first named a suspect by the KPK in December last year on bribery charges. She was arrested a month later. The KPK named her a suspect again in April on money laundering charges.

Prior to her arrest, Nurhayati, went public with her allegation that the House budget committee was a den of corruption.

She accused several fellow members of the House budget committee of being involved in the illicit DPID deliberations.

The involvement of other lawmakers was also confirmed by Fouz, a Golkar Party politician.

Fouz, who is the son of popular dangdut singer A Rafiq, testified during Nurhayati's trial that there were other House budget committee members who were involved in the case, including Tamsil Linrung of the Prosperous Justice Party, Mirwan Amir of the Democratic Party, Olly Dondokambey of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle and Melchias Markus Mekeng of Golkar.

The senior politicians played a key role in the disbursement of PPID funds to different regencies.

Another witness in the trial, businessman Haris Andi Surahman, backed Fouz claim that all member of the budget committee had roles in the case.

Both Amir and Linrung also testified at the trial.

During the proceedings, Fouz admitted to having bribed Nurhayati to win the lucrative funding scheme.

Fouz said it was Surahman who had introduced him to Nurhayati, a service for which Surahman received a fee from Fouz.

According to the indictment, Fouz learned about the DPID funds on Sept. 10, 2010.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the antigraft body would follow up on all new information gathered from the trial.

 

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