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Jakarta Post

Aru Islands regent arrested after a year on the run

Yuliasri Perdani
Jakarta   ●   Thu, May 30, 2013

The Attorney General Office'€™s (AGO) finally arrested the regent of Maluku'€™s Aru Islands, Theddy Tengko, at Aru'€™s airport on Wednesday, more than a year after he was convicted of corruption.

One of Theddy'€™s lawyers, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, claimed that the prosecutors made the arrest with the support of the Indonesian Army (TNI AD) and the National Police'€™s Mobile Brigade (Brimob).

'€œTheddy was told the Ambon Military Commander was coming to Aru and that he was asked to welcome the commander. But when the plane landed, the officials took him on board and immediately flew to Ambon [Maluku'€™s capital],'€ Yusril said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Attorney General Basrief Arief said that the AGO would arrest the regent this week.

Deputy attorney general Darmono, Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Rukman Ahmad declined to confirm the arrest, but National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar confirmed that the force had deployed personnel to assist the prosecutors.

In April 2012, the Supreme Court sentenced Theddy to four years in prison for embezzling Rp 42.5 billion (US$4.33 million) from the regional budget, soon after which he was relieved of his duties.

Theddy, who is also a retired naval officer, got his position back in September after the Ambon District Court surprisingly overturned the Supreme Court'€™s ruling. The lower court stated that the higher court'€™s ruling was non-executable. The Supreme Court then issued a ruling rendering the lower court'€™s ruling void.

Besides the legal battle, the AGO faced intimidation in its attempts to arrest the regent.

On Dec. 12 last year, dozens of prosecutors and police arrested Theddy in Jakarta and took him to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, where he was supposed to be transported to Ambon to serve his prison term at a penitentiary there.

Upon arriving at the airport, a mob of around 50 people forced the prosecutors to release the regent. After negotiations, the AGO bowed to their demands.

On May 18, two prosecutors were assaulted while spying on the regent. Basrief said that one of the attackers had been detained.

Following Theddy'€™s arrest, Yusril pledged to continue defending his client.

'€œHe could file a request for a case review to the Supreme Court. I would help him with his legal efforts ,'€ he said.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi sent a letter ordering Theddy'€™s dismissal to Maluku Governor Karel Albert Ralahalu.

'€œActually, the governor can propose the dismissal. We sent the letter considering that the governor had not submitted the dismissal request to us,'€ Gamawan said on Wednesday, as quoted by