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Jakarta Post

KPK nabs 11 former North Sumatra councillors for alleged bribery involving ex-governor

  • Nina A. Loasana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 23, 2020   /   05:11 pm
KPK nabs 11 former North Sumatra councillors for alleged bribery involving ex-governor Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chairman Nurul Ghufron (left), KPK law enforcement deputy Karyoto (center) and KPK spokesman Ali Fikri (right) speak at a press conference on the arrest of 11 former North Sumatra Legislative councillors in a case of alleged bribery at the KPK headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday, July 22. (Antara/Nova Wahyudi)

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has arrested 11 former members of the North Sumatra Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) for allegedly accepting bribes from the province’s former governor, graft convict Gatot Pujo Nugroho.

KPK deputy chairman Nurul Ghufron said the 11 suspects would be taken into custody for 20 days from Wednesday to Aug. 10.

"After the initial investigation, the KPK has arrested 11 former North Sumatra council members during the council term of 2009 to 2014 and 2014 to 2019,” Nurul said in an online press conference on Wednesday.

The 11 suspects are Sudirman Halawa, Rahmad Pardamean Hasibuan, Megalia Agustina, Ida Budiningsih, Syamsul Hilal, Robert Nainggolan, Ramli, Layani Sinukaban, Japorman Saragih, Jamaludin Hasibuan and Irwansyah Damanik.

They are expected to be detained in two separate detention centers at the Jakarta Military Police (Pomdam Jaya) Guntur Jaya in South Jakarta and the KPK's Merah Putih building, also in South Jakarta.

In January, the KPK named 14 suspects in the bribery case, including the detainees. However, three other suspects, Nurhasanah, Ahmad Hosein Hutagalung, and Mulyani, failed to attend KPK questioning.

Read also: 2019 sees fewer corruption cases but bigger state losses: ICW

Nurul accused the 14 suspects of having accepted bribes from Gatot to smoothen deliberation over the provincial budget and to drop their interpellation petition against the former governor in 2015.

Interpellation is the right of councillors to request from the regional administration information concerning strategic governmental policies that widely affect the people.

In 2017, Gatot was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and fined Rp 250 million for paying Rp 61.8 billion (US$ 4.23 million) in bribes to local councillors. It was Gatot’s third sentence, handed down while he was serving time for two sentences he received in 2016.

He was sentenced to prison for two-and-a-half years for bribing three Medan State Administrative Court (PTUN) judges, a case that also saw his lawyer at the time, the prominent OC Kaligis, convicted. His second sentence gave him six years in prison for his role in the misuse of social aid funds.

After Gatot's arrest, the KPK detained 50 North Sumatra councillors serving the 2009-2014 and 2014-2019 terms.

They are currently serving time after receiving four to six years’ imprisonment from the Medan Corruption Court.