Too light?: Former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin (center) smiles as he leaves the Jakarta Corruption Court on Friday. Judges sentenced him to 4 years and 10 months in prison and a Rp 200 million fine. JP/Jerry Adiguna
Former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin was sentenced to four years and 10 months in jail on Friday for accepting Rp 4.6 billion linked to the construction of the SEA Games athletes’ village in South Sumatra.
The sentence was more lenient than the seven years’ imprisonment demanded by the prosecutors.
The Jakarta Corruption Court’s presiding judge, Sudharmawatiningsih, found Nazaruddin guilty of accepting money, in the form of five checks, from Mohamad El Idris, the marketing director with construction company PT Duta Graha Indah (DGI), to rig the bid in its favor.
El Idris has previously been jailed.
The panel of judges disagreed with prosecutors, who earlier charged Nazaruddin with violating Article 12 (b) of the 2001 Corruption Law on bribery, which carries a maximum of 20 years in jail.
Instead, he was found guilty of accepting a gratuity under Article 11, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Democratic Party politicians applauded the verdict for not mentioning the alleged connection between the money and the party’s congress in Bandung, West Java, in 2010.
“We are so relieved to know that the court has annulled Nazaruddin’s arguments, which tried to relate the bribery case to our congress. This has cleared suspicion on our party,” party leader I Gede Pasek said.
The judges found that Nazaruddin accepted the checks indirectly through Yulianis and Oktarina Furi, Nazaruddin’s former subordinates at his companies PT Anak Negeri and Permai Group.
The judges said the checks were handed out as Nazaruddin was closely acquaintanted with Democratic Party politicians, including Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng.
Lawmaker Angelina Sondakh has also previously been declared a suspect in the case.
As a member of House of Representatives law commission, the judges argued, Nazaruddin had no connection to sports-facility construction, which was commissioned by the Youth and Sports Ministry and the House Commission X overseeing sports affairs.
“Minister [Andi Mallarangeng] and the defendant are from the same party. Because of his acquaintance with the Democratic Party and the fellow lawmakers, the payer [of the gratuity] thought the defendant could influence them,” judge Marsudin Nainggolan said.
The judges said Nazaruddin knew the checks had been paid as he had asked another subordinate, Mindo Rosalina Manulang, to make a deal with DGI if they wanted to win the project.
The judges also found that Nazaruddin, along with his wife Neneng Sri Wahyuni, still controlled the companies at the time of the payments, although he no longer was connected to the businesses since being elected to the House.
“Anak Negeri and Permai Group are merely tools to accept such money,” Marsudin said.
Both the defendant and KPK prosecutors said they would use the seven-day grace period granted by the court to consider an appeal.
During the trial, the judges dismissed Nazaruddin’s request for the KPK open his blocked assets and accounts. “We cannot grant it as we concluded the assets were needed to open other cases,” Marsudin said.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the verdict opened the door for further investigation into cases related to Nazaruddin.
Johan denied Nazaruddin’s accusation that the KPK handled the case to the benefit of party chairman Anas Urbaningrum. “There is no such effort to localize the case only on Nazaruddin,” he said.
Andi and lawmaker Mahyudin from House Commission X overseeing education, youth affairs and sports both claimed innocence.
It’s not the last...
On April 21, 2011, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested
Wafid Muharam, the Youth and Sports Ministry secretary-general, along
with Mohamad El Idris and Mindo Rosalina Manulang. The arrest was the
beginning of a long graft probe which reveals politicians, including
Muhammad Nazaruddin and Angelina Sondakh.
Mohamad El Idris, Marketing Manager of pt dgi
Prosecutor’s demand: 3.5 years in prison Rp 150 million fine
Verdict: 2 years in prison Rp 150 million fine
Mindo Rosalina Manulang, Marketing Director Of Pt Anak Negeri
Prosecutor’s demand: 4 years of imprisonment Rp 200 million fine
Verdict: 2.5 years in prison Rp 200 million fine
Wafid Muharam, The secretary-general of the Youth and Sports Ministry
Prosecutor’s demand: 6 years in prison Rp 200 million fine
Verdict: 3 years in prison Rp 150 million fine
Indictment: The KPK charged Nazaruddin for accepting bribes worth up to
Rp 4.6 billion from PT Duta Graha Indah (DGI) to rig a bid related to
the construction of the 2011 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games athletes’
Prosecutor’s demand: 7 years in prison Rp 300 million fine
Verdict: 4 years and 10 months in prison Rp 200 million fine
The kpk has declared Nazaruddin a suspect in money laundering case. He allegedly used his money gained from corruption to purchase a number of shares in the national flag-carrying airline Garuda Indonesia.
Source: The Jakarta Post