KPK urged to demand maximum sentence for Atut
The Jakarta Post
Anti-corruption activists urged Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors on Sunday to demand the maximum 15-year sentence for suspended Banten governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah, when her sentence demand is read at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Monday.
The antigraft body has charged Atut under Article 6 of the 2001 Corruption Law, which carries a maximum 15 years' imprisonment, for bribing graft convict former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar.
Akil, who has already been sentenced to life in prison in the case, was bribed in relation to a local election dispute being heard at the court.
'We also urge KPK prosecutors to put on the table the option of stripping Atut of the right to run for office in the future as well removing all state facilities that she has been enjoying as a governor,' Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) researcher Emerson Yuntho said on Sunday.
Political observer and anti-corruption campaigner from Banten's Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa University, Dahnil Anzar, said that Atut deserved a hefty sentence for her alleged role in bribing Akil, who was also convicted of money laundering.
'Atut broke her commitment she made in 2012 when she embraced all regents in Banten telling them not to commit corruption in any form. Back in 2008, Atut was also among 22 regional heads who signed an anti-corruption agreement with the KPK,' Dahnil said on Sunday.
The arrest of Atut last year angered local activists in Banten who had expected better governance under her administration.
Workers Union for Public Transparency (MATA) Banten director Fuadudin Bagas said that Atut's graft case and the massive corruption that emerged after her arrest had tarnished democracy in Banten.
'Her arrest has had a bad impact on democracy in Banten,' Fuadudin said on Sunday.
Responding to anti-corruption campaigners' demands, KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the antigraft body appreciated their concerns, adding that KPK prosecutors would take these into consideration.
Johan declined to reveal the sentence KPK prosecutors would demand in Monday's hearing. 'I don't know the details of the sentence demand, but the KPK hopes that the panel of judges will approve whatever sentence KPK prosecutors demand on Monday,' he said .
Atut, together with her brother Tubagus Chaeri 'Wawan' Wardana, who has also been charged in the case, stand accused of paying Akil Rp 1 billion (US$84,898) in exchange for a Constitutional Court ruling in a suit brought by Lebak deputy regent Amir Hamzah to overturn the victory of opposing ticket Iti Octavia Jayabaya-Ade Sumardi in the Lebak regency election.
Earlier, in two separate trials in June, the Jakarta Corruption Court convicted Wawan and go-between Susi Tur Andayani to five years in prison each.
Wawan was found guilty of providing the Rp 1 billion money, which was given to Akil through Susi, allegedly as instructed by Atut. The Akil-led court ruled on Oct. 2, 2013, that a revote should take place in Lebak.
Wawan and Atut may also face another 20 years for allegedly rigging a number of state projects in the administrations of Banten and South Tangerang, where Wawan's wife Airin Rachmi Diany is currently mayor.
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