The Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced on Tuesday Golkar Party politician Fahd El Fouz to two years and six months in prison for bribing a lawmaker to win regional development funding.
The panel of judges found Fahd guilty of violating Article 5 of the 2001 Corruption Law. The judges also found that Fahd committed his crime together with businessman Haris Andi Surachman, who has been named a suspect in the case.
“Your Honor, in principle I am guilty. I accept the judges’ verdict, but I will still ask my lawyer’s opinion regarding the verdict,” Fahd, 29, told the panel of judges on Tuesday.
After consulting with his lawyer, Fahd, who is the chairman of the Golkar-affiliated organization MKGR, said he would consider whether or not to appeal the verdict.
“I dared to commit [bribery]. I also dare to be responsible for my actions. Insya Allah [God willing] I have surrendered myself,” he told reporters after the court hearing.
Fahd’s statement was hailed by dozens of members of the MKGR, who dressed in yellow camouflage uniforms to attend their boss’ trial.
“Hail to the chairman! Long live the judge!” MKGR members shouted.
Prior to the verdict, prosecutors had demanded the court to sentence Fahd to three years and six months in prison.
In response to the verdict, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors said that they also want to consider whether to appeal the verdict or not.
Judge Alexander Marwata said the court found Fahd guilty of having bribed Wa Ode Nurhayati, a member of the House of Representative’s budget committee, with Rp 5.5 billion (US$573,364) in order to secure lucrative funding under discussion at the House.
The lucrative funding that Marwata referred to was the Regional Infrastructure Adjustment Fund (DPID) disbursement for three regencies in Aceh: Pidie Jaya, Bener Meriah and Aceh Besar.
Marwata said Fahd routed the bribe through businessman Haris Andi Surahman, who then wired the money to Nurhayati’s personal assistant, Sefa Yolanda.
Nurhayati, a member of the National Mandate Party (PAN), was sentenced to six years in prison on Oct. 19 for accepting the bribe as well as for money laundering.
Presiding judge Suhartoyo said mitigating factors that lightened Fahd’s sentence included the convict’s family obligations, polite courtroom behavior and his admission to his charges.
Fahd, the son of renowned dangdut singer A. Rafiq, accepted prosecutors’ indictment during an earlier court hearing.
He said 90 percent of the accusations leveled at him in the indictment were in fact true and he therefore supported the prosecutors’ charges against him in the bribery scandal.
According to the indictment, Fahd learned about the DPID funds on Sept. 10, 2010. He then met with Haris at Golkar Party headquarters in Slipi, West Jakarta, in order to identify the House lawmakers in charge of the DPID disbursement.
During his trial, Fahd testified that in addition to Nurhayati, House budget committee members Tamsil Linrung of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Mirwan Amir of the Democratic Party played a role in disbursing the funds to different regencies.