Headlines

15 years sought for disgraced
legislators in bribery
scandal

Dismissed legislator Al Amin Nur Nasution faces 15 years in prison for blackmail and accepting bribes in two forest conversion project.

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors said Al Amin was "not supportive" in fighting corruption in the country and that he had instead used his position as a legislator to gain personal benefits.

"We demand the panel of justices imprison the defendant for 15 years and fine him Rp 500 million (US$45,454)," prosecutor Anang Supriatna read out the prosecution's sentence demands for Al Amien during his trial at the Corruption Court on Wednesday.

He must serve an additional six months in prison should he fail to pay the fine, Anang added.

The prosecution also requested the court order Al Amin return the Rp 2.9 billion he received in the case to the state or serve another two years in prison.

The prosecution listed the charges that demanded the punishment for the former United Development Party (PPP) lawmaker.

"The defendant did not admit or regret his wrongdoings, and he has enjoyed the results of the corruption he committed," Anang added.

Al Amien is charged with receiving bribes in a project to develop two forest conservation areas, one on Bintan Island, Riau province, and the other in Tanjung Pantai Air Telang in Banyuasin, South Sumatra.

He is also accused of "blackmailing" companies that participated in tenders to procure a global positioning system (GPS) called Geodetic, GPS handhelds and a Total gas station for the Forestry Ministry.

"Al Amien received Rp 3.5 billion in total through his crimes," said another prosecutor, Edy Hartoyo.

He alleged Al Amien had accepted Rp 75 million from businessman Chandra Antonio Tan to secure approval from the House of Representatives for the forest conversion in Tanjung Pantai Air Telang, and Rp 2.5 billion from Bintan administration secretary Azirwan for a similar project in the regency.

Al Amin, formerly a member of the House' Commission IV overseeing forestry and agricultural affairs, also illegally received Rp 936 million from PT Data Script and PT Almega, two of the companies taking part in the GPS procurement tenders, Edy added.

The prosecutor named two of Al Amin's fellow ex-lawmakers from the same commission -- Sarjan Tahir and Azwar Chesputra -- as accomplices in the Banyuasin bribery case.

Sarjan is also standing trial for similar charges, and an investigation into Azwar's role in the bribery is ongoing at the KPK.

After Wednesday's court session, Al Amien dismissed the indictment against him as "illogical and absurd".

However, he added that it was the prosecution's right to make such charges. "So let it be," he added.

The disgraced legislator said he would examine the indictment before making his own plea. "There is still a legal process I can use," he said.

The trial was adjourned until next Wednesday, when the defense will state its case. -- JP/Irawaty Wardany

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