The Corruption Court sentenced a businessman and his lawyer Monday to five and four-and-a-half years in jail, respectively, for bribing a judge.
The entrepreneur, D.L. Sitorus, and his lawyer Adner Sirait were found guilty of bribing Jakarta High Administrative Court judge Ibrahim Rp 300 million (US$32,700) earlier this year to win a land dispute against the Jakarta City Administration.
Both Sitorus’ and Adner’s sentence terms were one year less than those demanded by prosecutors. In addition to the jail terms, they were fined Rp 150 million each or serve an additional three years in prison.
“The defendant was proven guilty of breaching the corruption law,” presiding judge Jufriadi said when reading out Sitorus’ verdict.
Sitorus, owner of North Sumatra-based PT Sabar Ganda, said he would appeal the verdict while Adner, who was silent throughout the session, asked for time to make up his mind and so did prosecutors.
Adner was caught red-handed in March giving judge Ibrahim Rp 300 million to help D.L. Sitorus win his land dispute at the Jakarta State Administrative High Court.
Prosecutors said that Adner had contacted Sitorus in March, telling him judge Ibrahim had agreed to take a bribe from him in exchange for a verdict that favored him. It was revealed that initially Ibrahim had asked for Rp 500 million but Adner bargained and they settled at Rp 300 million.
Sitorus welcomed the agreement and asked Adner to collect the money for Ibrahim from the businessman’s notary, Yoko Verra Mokoagow.
Adner then met Ibrahim in Cikini, Central Jakarta, and they were caught by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) officers who followed them when the money changed hands on March 30.
KPK investigators found that the lawyer was representing D.L. Sitorus when he allegedly bribed Ibrahim to declare that the land certificates held by the Jakarta Administration were illegal.
The dispute, taken to the Jakarta State Administrative Court in June last year, was won by PT Sabar Ganda in November.
Sitorus’ defense attorney Alfrian Bondjol said that his client submitted the Rp 300 million cash to Adner in “lawyer’s fees”. “Pak D.L. Sitorus had no intention of bribing judge Ibrahim,” he said.
He also doubted the legality of a taped conversation between Sitorus and Adner, which prosecutors used as material evidence.
Judge Ibrahim had already been sentenced to six years in jail and fined Rp 200 million by the same court on Aug. 2. The sentence term was much lighter than the 12 years that prosecutors sought for the ailing judge.
He was found guilty of accepting the Rp 300 million bribe from Sitorus. Judges said at that time that Ibrahim deserved the jail term because the bribery had tarnished the image of the judicial system.