Semarang mayor to face trial in Jakarta
Soemarmo Hadi Saputro: Semarang Mayor. (Antara/R. Rekotomo)
Semarang Mayor Soemarmo Hadi Saputro will stand trial on charges of bribing local councillors in a graft case involving the 2012 Semarang city budget on Wednesday at the Jakarta Corruption Court.
“Soemarmo will face trial at the Jakarta Corruption Court tomorrow [Wednesday],” said Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Johan Budi on Tuesday. “[The trial will be in Jakarta] instead of Semarang.”
The KPK has expressed concerns that the Semarang Corruption Court would not be impartial in its proceedings after it failed to prevent the trial of city secretary Akhmat Zaenuri – sentenced to 18 months in jail -- from descending into chaos with noisy protests by the defendant’s supporters.
The Supreme Court has granted a KPK request to try Soemarmo in Jakarta instead of Semarang.
This is the first time the KPK has moved a trial to Jakarta since a local graft tribunal in Bandung, West Java, acquitted Bekasi mayor Mochtar Mohamad in a different graft case in September 2011.
KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto said the relocation was to ensure the judges’ independence and integrity as Soemarmo, an Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician, had a lot of local support.
Both Akhmat and Soemarmo were charged with bribing local councillors to help expedite deliberation of the proposed Semarang city budget, which increased the amount earmarked for government employees’ wages. (iwa)