Former BI gov sentenced
to 5 years in prison

Former Bank Indonesia (BI) governor Burhanuddin Abdullah was sentenced Wednesday to 5 years in prison and fined Rp 250 million (US$23,250) for knowlege and subsequently approval of the disbursement of Rp 100 billion of BI funds.

"The defendant Burhanuddin Abdullah is legally and concincingly proven to have jointly committed corruption," presiding judge Gusrizal told the Anti-Corruption Court.

"The magistrate therefore sentence him to 5 years imprisonment and a Rp 250 million fine,"he said.

The magistrate believed the defendant had knowledge of and subsequently approved the disbursement of funds beyond proper BI channels through the Indonesian Banking Development Foundation (YPPI).

The sentence is nonetheless lighter than the State Prosecutor's plea of 8 years imprisonment and a Rp 500 million fine.

According to Gusrizal, this is due to the fact that Abdullah had never personally used the funds himself.

In 2003, the BI board of governors decided to take Rp 100 billion from the central bank's YPPI fund to settle a BI liquidity support (BLBI) graft case, ensure an amendment to the BI law and finance legal aid for several BI senior officials implicated in the BLBI graft case.

The decision to tap the fund was made during two board of governors meetings of which Burhanuddin, as BI governor, had chaired on June 3 and July 22, 2003.

Burhanuddin said he would appeal the court's decision. (amr)

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