The Jakarta Post
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors on Monday demanded the Bandung Corruption Court sentence suspended Riau governor Annas Maamun to six years in prison for his involvement in corruption in a forest conversion case.
The prosecutors also asked the court to fine Annas, who was rushed to hospital because of possible illness during the sentence demand last week, Rp 250 million (US$19,200) in the case.
In the session on Monday, Annas, who wore a maroon long-sleeved batik shirt, appeared well, unlike five days ago when he looked pale. He was able to walk alone, without assistance, before and after the trial.
In the sentence demand, prosecutors deemed that Annas was legally and convincingly proven to have violated Law No. 20/2001 on corruption eradication.
'We have asked the state to confiscate the entire amount of bribes and gifts related to the forest conversion, the amount of which reached more than Rp 5 billion,' said prosecutor Irene Putri.
Annas had allegedly included in a concession area an oil palm plantation managed by his aide Gulat Medali Emas Manurung, who was one of his campaign team members during his candidacy in the Riau gubernatorial election two years ago, and land owned by another aide, Edison Marudut Marsadauli Siahaan.
The land covered by a Forestry Ministerial Decree dated Aug. 9, 2014, on Allocation Change in Forested Areas into Non-forested Areas included 1,188 hectares of land managed by Gulat in the Kuantan Sengingi regency, Riau, 1,214 hectares managed by him in Bagan Sinembah, Rokan Hilir regency, and a 120-hectare oil palm estate owned by Edison in Duri, Bengkalis regency.
'Whereas the locations are outside those recommended by the Riau Forestry Office Integrated Team,' said Irene.
It was also disclosed in the trial proceedings that Annas, as governor, had demanded Rp 2.9 billion to arrange for the forest to be converted into an oil palm plantation.
Annas admitted the funds would be given to 60 Commission IV members of the House of Representative through Gulat in order to accelerate the approval of spatial planning in Riau, which would include the plots managed by Gulat and Edison.
On Sept. 24, 2014, Gulat handed $166,100 to Triyanto, Annas' adjutant. The money was then returned to Gulat to convert it into rupiah and Singapore dollars.
After the money was given back to Annas, KPK officers arrived and arrested Annas and Gulat at his house at the Citra Grand Housing Estate in Cibubur, Bekasi, West Java.
Annas, as state administrator, said Irene, had received bribes and gifts although he was aware that they were given to him to expedite something under his jurisdiction, which was contrary to his duties and obligations.
As governor, Annas received Rp 500 million for providing state projects to Edison, the managing director of PT Citra Hokiana Triutama. In 2014, the company won at least three projects offered by the Riau Public Works Office worth up to Rp 25 billion.
To win the various tenders, Edison contacted Gulat, who is known to be a close confidant of Annas.
Irene said Annas' actions were against the government's program of eradicating corruption. She added, the mitigating factor was that Annas is already elderly and had never been penalized.
Regarding the sentence demand, Annas said he understood and would appeal in the next session on June 1.
'The sentence demand is too stiff so we will file for a plea,' Annas said after the session.
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