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25
Jan '06

Depok councillors jailed, Banten graft probe widens


The Cibinong District Court sentenced Tuesday 17 members of the Depok municipal council to two years’ imprisonment each on graft charges.

Prosecutors had asked for one-year jail terms in the Rp 7.32 billion case.

Presiding judge Andi Samsan Nganro told the court the councillors — most of whom were to have served until 2009 — used the money for their own benefit, such as power bills or the upkeep of their cars.

Each of the defendants was fined Rp 50 million and must pay back the money, ranging from Rp 165 million to Rp 338 million each.

He said failure to pay up could result in the court seizing their property or increasing their sentence by four to six months.

“The sentence term should be reduced by the length of time they were detained during the investigation — they may not go directly to jail as the court believes they will not skip town before its decision is final,” Andi said.

The defendants are considering filing appeals.

Appeals can be submitted up to Supreme Court level, a process that can take over two years.

The councillors convicted include former Depok council speaker Sutadi, council speaker Naming D. Bothin, and members Hasbullah, 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.

Meanwhile, prosecutors are broadening an investigation into a Rp 14 billion corruption case at the Banten provincial council that has already resulted in six suspects receiving prison sentences of up to four years.

Fourteen more former councillors may be named suspects as prosecutors are gathering evidence against them, Banten Prosecutor’s Office head Kemal Sofyan said Tuesday.

“The suspects have not returned the money stolen in 2003 from the provincial administration’s budgetary allocations for councillors’ housing and welfare allowances,” Kemal said.

Nine of the suspects were summoned to appear at the prosecutor’s office Monday but only four answered the summons.

Sofyan said the questioning would continue, though further measures would be taken if the suspects were uncooperative.

The case centers on the alleged misuse of budgetary funds under governor Djoko Munandar. Initially, Rp 3.5 billion was allocated for councillors’ activities, but they were granted an extra Rp 10.5 billion for the construction of 75 houses.

Only when councillors for the 2004-2009 period took office, they found no housing complex had been built.

The six people given jail terms are Dharmono K. Lawi, a former Banten council chairman who was also a legislator from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P); former Banten council deputy speaker Muslim Djamaludin; current deputy speaker Mufrodi Muchsin; council secretary Tardian; former secretary of the council’s budgetary committee, Tuti Sutiah Indra, and Djoko Munandar.

Sumber : (Theresia Sufa and Multa Fidrus) The Jakarta Post


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