Gayus poised for sentence reduction
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Graft convict Gayus Halomoan Tambunan, the former tax official in a large-scale corruption case, is scheduled to have his sentence cut by up to four months on Aug. 17, the 67th anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence, and on Idul Fitri, which will likely fall two days later.
Head of the penitentiary division at the West Java chapter of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Dedi Sutardi, said that Gayus was poised to get a three-month sentence reduction on Independence Day, plus another month on Idul Fitri, for his reported good behavior. However, Dedi said that it was the Directorate General of Penitentiaries which would decide.
Gayus is currently serving a 28-year sentence for several crimes, from helping companies evade taxes and falsifying passports, to bribing a judge and police officers.
He is now being detained in Sukamiskin Penitentiary in Bandung, West Java, after being moved from Cipinang Penitentiary in June. The 2006 Government Regulation No. 28 on remission states that inmates eligible for a reduction in their sentence had to exhibit good behaviour and must have served at least six months. Remissions can also be granted to inmates who lead social activities.
Besides Gayus, convicted murderer Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2008 after being found guilty of involvement in the murder of human rights activist Munir, will receive a five-month sentence reduction, plus one month and 20 days reduction for so-called positive activities within the penitentiary. “He is active in scout education,” said Dedi. Last year, Pollycarpus had his sentence reduced by nine months and five days for becoming a scout patron and regularly donating blood.
Gayus and Pollycarpus are two among 10,052 inmates across West Java who will receive remissions, while 460 inmates will step outside the prisons. “There are 9,260 inmates who will have their sentences reduced on Idul Fitri, while 160 will be released during the holiday,” Dedi added.
Former justice and human rights minister Patrialis Akbar faced harsh criticism after proposing a remission for Gayus last year.
The government has decided to tighten the procedures on the granting of remission for graft convicts.