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Mei '05

Depok graft charges ‘vague’

A defense lawyer for 17 Depok councillors on Tuesday pointed to what he said were various defects in the prosecution graft charges laid against their clients for corruption some time during their terms from 1999 to 2004, and asked the Cibinong District Court to throw out the case.

Most of the defendants have been reelected for the current 2004 to 2009 term.

The councillors stand accused of authorizing the misuse of Rp 7.5 billion (US$797,872) out of the Depok budget to cover their personal expenses, including the payment of installments on houses and cars, and the payment of telephone and water bills, and insurance premiums.

Lawyer Darmi Marasabessy told the court, presided over by Judge Andi Samsan Nganro, that the prosecution charges were unduly vague and therefore should be dismissed.

“The prosecution alleges that the money was misappropriated so as to allow the amassing of wealth by the councillors, and the Depok council speaker and deputy speakers at that time. But insufficient details and facts have been presented to support the accusations,” he said.

Moreover, Marasabessy claimed the prosecution had wrongly based the case on Government Regulation No. 105/2000 on local government financial management “as there is already a local bylaw in effect specifically dealing with these matters based on the interests of the region and its people.”

The investigation into the case started late last year, and separate prosecutions are now being taken, with one involving the former council speaker, Sutadi, the current speaker, Naming D. Bothin, and serving council member Hasbullah, and the other involving a total of 14 defendants, namely, Bambang Sutopo, Bambang Prihanto, Mazhab, Mansuria, Rafie Ahmad, Mahrup Aman, Ratna Nuryana, Sasono, Damanhuri, Kusdiharto, Hiras Tony Hutapea, Agus Sutondo, Cristian Poltak Slamet Silaban and Haryono.

Sumber :  (Theresia Sufa) The Jakarta Post, Bogor

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