The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced former Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq to 16 years in prison for graft and money laundering on Monday.
A panel of judges at the court found Luthfi guilty of violating Article 55 of Law No. 20/2001 on corruption as well as being involved in money laundering, a violation of articles 3 and 5 of Law No. 8/2010 on money laundering.
The judges also ordered Luthfi to pay Rp 1 billion (US$84,000) in fines.
The jail term is shorter than the 18-year sentence sought by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
In its sentence demand, prosecutors also ordered Luthfi to pay Rp 1.5 billion.
Responding to the verdict, Luthfi said that he would appeal the sentence.
'I don't accept this and will appeal,' said Luthfi, who was later greeted by supporters chanting 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great) in the courtroom.
Luthfi said that he would not be concerned with the number of years he would spend in prison or how much of his assets would be seized by the state and would continue to fight his legal battle.
'The judges did not consider my defense statements at all,' he said.
Luthfi is accused of accepting bribes from meat importing company PT Indoguna Utama in exchange for persuading party colleague Suswono, the agriculture minister, to increase the company's beef import quota.
The KPK prosecutors accused Luthfi of lobbying Suswono to raise the overall quota so PT Indoguna Utama could increase its share to 10,000 tons of beef.
Luthfi devised a scheme that would facilitate a meeting between Suswono and PT Indoguna Utama president director Maria Elizabeth Liman.
The former PKS boss was also charged with laundering money while he was in the House of Representatives.
He was accused of concealing the source of his potentially illicit assets.
KPK prosecutors said that Luthfi had made efforts to hide his ill-gotten assets since he started serving as a lawmaker in 2003 by omitting his three BCA bank accounts from his official wealth reports (LHKPN) from 2003 and 2009.
Luthfi's accomplice in the case, Ahmad Fathanah, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay a Rp 1 billion fine.
In his defense plea, which was read by his lawyer M. Assegaf last week, Luthfi blamed Fathanah for the corruption.
Luthfi accused Fathanah of exploiting their close relationship ' which began when they were friends as students at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the 1980s ' to get money out of PT Indoguna Utama.
Luthfi was the first acting leader of a political party to be arrested by the KPK in a graft case.
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