Headlines

Call for probe into luxury
scandal bribery allegations

The government is under pressure to investigate alleged bribery behind rich inmates’ special treatment in the country’s correctional institutions.

Emerson Yuntho of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) said the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) should step in to tackle the graft allegations behind the prison scandal.

Pondok Bambu Correctional Facility chief warden Sarju Wibowo has just been replaced by Catur Budi Patayatin, following the discovery of luxurious facilities at Pondok Bambu women’s correctional institution in East Jakarta during an impromptu inspection by the judicial corruption eradication task force last week.

Sarju is now an official without a job title.

Emerson said that the KPK also had to follow the money trail, meaning that prison officials, who may have benefited from the corrupt practices, should be punished.

“Further investigation into the prison scandal is the only real answer to fix the situation at the moment,” he said.

“After that, let’s talk about improving facilities and increasing the internal monitoring program.”

Emerson further said the Justice and Human Rights Ministry should reconsider its plan to reduces sentences for inmates who had been caught using the facilities.

“There should be no sentence reduction for those who have violated the law inside prison,” he said.

“This sanction is necessary so they learn not to push their luck next time.”

Commenting on this, KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the antigraft body would be more than willing to initiate further investigation of graft allegations behind the prison scandal.

“We have previously discussed this matter with the task force. We are now waiting for them to hand down the early indication of graft they found in the field.”

Task force secretary Denny Indrayana said a follow-up investigation regarding this prison scandal had been taken over by an internal monitoring team from the Justice and Human Rights Ministry’s Inspectorate General.

“We will know who should be held responsible for the whole mess after we receive the team’s investigation result,” he told news portal detik.com.   

“Therefore, we should give the team the chance to complete its investigation.”

On Wednesday, lawmaker Gayuus Lumbuun urged Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar to dismiss Director General for Correctional Institutions Untung Sugiyono as he considered him responsible for the rich inmates’ preferential treatment.

“Replacing Sarju was never the answer to tackle this case. It is impossible that a low-ranking
official like Sarju could do such a thing without permission from his supervisors,” Gayuus told The
Jakarta Post.

Untung had previously defended his office, saying that the facilities, which were given to the rich inmates, were normal and had not broken any regulations.

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