Court sends Jero Wacik to four years in prison for corruption
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
The judges of the Jakarta Corruption Court handed a four-year prison sentence to former minister Jero Wacik on Tuesday for corrupt conduct he committed during his term in office.
Jero was proven to be guilty of having contributed to Rp 5.7 billion (US$418,502) in state losses during his term as tourism and culture minister and later as energy minister in president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's administration.
The court also ordered Jero to pay restitution of the same amount of money, plus an additional Rp 150 million in fines.
"If the defendant does not pay the amount within a month after the verdict, the state will seize his belongings," presiding chief judge Sumpeno said as quoted by kompas.com.
The sentence is lower than what prosecutors sought, which was nine years imprisonment, Rp 350 million in fines and Rp 18 billion in compensation.
Jero was charged in the embezzlement cases following his misuse of ministerial operating funds, which he used for personal purposes.
His former subordinates at the tourism and culture ministry had told the court that Jero used the funds to pay for personal expenses such as traveling with his family, going to massage parlors, paying for his wife's birthday party in an upscale Jakarta hotel and buying concert tickets for his children and designer bags for his wife.
He was even proven to have ordered his subordinates to pretend to take working trips to cover his use of the funds.
When he was assigned to lead the energy ministry in 2011, Jero also ordered the ministry's secretary-general, Waryono Karyo, to get more money from the units in the ministry in order to cover Jero's operational funds, which he deemed too meagre.
Following the verdict, Jero kept maintaining his innocence, claiming that the misuse was caused by his lack of supervision over his subordinates.
He insisted that the only charges against him should have been over mere negligence.
"What I need to underline is that this is not the defendant's mistake. It is [about a] lack of control over subordinates," he told journalists at the court on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com. (rin)
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