The Jakarta Post
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has released former United Development Party (PPP) chairman and graft convict Muhammad “Romy” Romahurmuziy from prison after the Jakarta High Court ruled in favor of his appeal for a sentence reduction.
KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri said on Wednesday that the Jakarta Corruption Court had ordered the antigraft body’s prosecutors to release Romy on the same day, declaring that he had fulfilled his one-year prison sentence.
The PPP politician spent a year behind bars after graft busters detained him on April 15, 2019.
“The KPK has no other choice than to release [Romy] because he had served time as stipulated in the court rulings against him,” Ali said in a statement on Tuesday evening.
The Jakarta Corruption Court initially sentenced Romy to two years in prison on Jan. 20 for accepting a bribe of Rp 346.4 million (US$22,220) from Religious Affairs Ministry officials in exchange for promotions within the ministry. The verdict was lower than the four-year prison sentence demanded by KPK prosecutors.
However, the Jakarta High Court ruled in favor of the politician’s appeal and cut his sentence to one year.
Ali said the KPK had submitted an appeal against the high court’s ruling to the Supreme Court on Monday, as the high court did not rule Romy’s wrongdoing as part of an act of bribery.
“The panel of judges at the appellate court failed to sufficiently consider [Romy’s] conviction, which was too light,” the spokesperson went on to say.
He added that the antigraft body hoped the Supreme Court would consider the reasons for the KPK’s appeal in accordance with the legal facts, as well as justice for the public, as corruption is an extraordinary crime in the country.
Indonesia Corruption Watch also slammed the court’s decision, saying it was lighter than the sentence given to other political party leaders.
PPP lawmaker Achmad Baidowi, who also serves as the party’s deputy secretary-general, appreciated Romy’s release.
“Whether he will return to the party depends entirely on him. For now, he will focus on the appeal process at the Supreme Court.”
Ghina Ghaliya contributed to this reporting