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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Indonesian judge jailed 4yrs for accepting bribes

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:19 PM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Former Central Jakarta District Court Judge M. Syarifuddin Umar laughing after hearing the verdict at the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court on Tuesday

A Central Jakarta Court judge was found guilty by a corruption court in Jakarta on Tuesday but received a prison sentence of just four years, far short of the 20 years sought by prosecutors.

M. Syarifuddin Umar was found guilty of accepting Rp 250 million (RM82,451) in bribes while presiding over the bankruptcy case of the clothing company Skycamping Indonesia.

Syarifuddin, who acted as a supervisory judge on the case, received Rp 250 million in bribes from Puguh Wirawan, a curator who was handling the bankruptcy case.

Puguh paid Syarifuddin to overvalue the company’s assets by Rp 10 billion (RM3.29 billion).

Bank Nasional Indonesia and the tax office had valued the company’s assets at Rp 25 billion.

Syarifuddin was also ordered to pay Rp 150 million (RM49,449) in fines or serve an extra four months in prison.

Prosecutors had demanded a harsher sentence, arguing that Syarifuddin had abused his authority as a judge.

The panel of judges, led by Gusrizal, disagreed, stating that, in a supervisory position, Syarifuddin was unable to make a decision, said Mien Trisnawati, one of the judges.

However, Syarifuddin should have reported Puguh’s misconduct to the court overseeing Skycamping Indonesia’s bankruptcy case, Mien said.

Puguh was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in November for his role in the case.

The sentencing has drawn criticism by antigraft watchdog Indonesia Corruption Watch. ICW researcher Donal Fariz said on Tuesday that the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court did not embrace an anti-corruption stance and that the light sentence sent a message to an already critical public that viewed the court as weak on graft suspects.

Syarifuddin said on Tuesday that he would appeal the sentencing. He also demanded that he and his lawyers be provided a copy of the complete file on the bankruptcy case before filing an appeal.

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutor Zet Tadung Allo said he would study the corruption court’s ruling before deciding whether to appeal. “We’ll make a decision in seven days,” he said.

The panel of judges at the anticorruption court also ruled on Tuesday that any money seized from Syarifuddin during the investigation that was not linked to the Rp 250 million bribe should be returned to him.

In the course of the investigation, KPK officials recovered the Rp 250 million from the suspect and seized a further Rp 392 million in cash, $116,128, 245,000 Singaporean dollars, 20,000 yen, 12,66 Cambodian riel and 5,900 Thai baht.

Prosecutors had demanded that Syarifuddin prove the money was legitimately his. Failure to do so would have meant the money was treated as proceeds from corruption.

The judges, however, said that the original charge brought against Syarifuddin was for the Rp 250 million, not the rest of the money.

Info : News


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