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Jakarta Post

KPK to raise concern over 'leniency' of Supreme Court in graft convicts' case reviews

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 7, 2020   /   02:18 pm
KPK to raise concern over 'leniency' of Supreme Court in graft convicts' case reviews Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) building in South Jakarta. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is set to meet with Supreme Court leaders following a number of case review decisions that led to lighter punishments for graft convicts.

KPK commissioner Nurul Ghufron said KPK leaders would call on the Supreme Court to prevent the misuse of case reviews as a tool for graft convicts to get lighter sentences for their crimes.

"We hope [the mechanism] that is supposed to uphold justice for both the convicts and the public will not be misused by those trying to seek lenient decisions," Ghufron said as quoted by kompas.com on Tuesday.

He said the KPK was concerned after 22 graft convicts obtained lighter punishments in their case review pleas. "We have observed how [case review petitions] appear to be a new strategy for corruption convicts."

Even though the lower court’s ruling had a strong legal standing, 12 out of those 22 graft convicts still managed to get their sentences cut after their case reviews were approved by the Supreme Court between 2019 until 2020, Ghufron added.

At least 50 graft convicts had opted to file case review requests with the Supreme Court rather than going with appeal procedures, he added.

“It means, the case review procedure is seen as a generous door that grants leniency," Ghufron said.

Previously, KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri criticized the Supreme Court for the matter, fearing that the tendency to hand down lighter punishments for graft convicts could give a negative impression of the country’s legal system as a whole.

One of the latest graft convicts to receive a sentence reduction from a case review request was Anas Urbaningrum, the former Democratic Party chief serving from 2010 to 2013, whose imprisonment term was cut by the Supreme Court from the initial 14 years to only eight years.

Anas has now become the 23rd graft convict to be granted leniency by the Supreme Court in the past year.

Previously, National Awakening Party (PKB) lawmaker Musa Zainuddin, who was convicted of graft in 2017, also received a sentence reduction from nine years to six years’ imprisonment. (trn)