Friday, October 30, 2020

Indonesia: Anti-graft commission wants PLN chief to spend 5 years jail time for corruption role

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Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors have demanded a five-year prison sentence for Sofyan Basir, former president director of state-owned electricity firm PLN, for his alleged role in a corruption case pertaining to the construction of a power plant in Riau.

Prosecutors claimed that Sofyan had deliberately facilitated meetings between Golkar Party politicians Idrus Marham and Eni Maulani Saragih as well as businessman Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo with PLN’s board of directors to accelerate deliberations for the Riau-1 coal-fired power plant (PLTU).

“[We also demanded] that the defendant be punished with a Rp 200 million [US$14,128] fine or serve an additional three months in prison,” prosecutor Ronald Worotikan said during a hearing on Monday as quoted by Antara news agency.

Prosecutors added that even though Sofyan had not accepted any money himself, he had allowed the solicitation of a bribe by arranging the meetings.

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The former president director is also accused of knowing that Idrus and Eni would accept a bribe from Johannes.

The Jakarta Corruption Court has found Johannes, a shareholder of Blackgold Natural Resources Ltd., guilty of bribing Idrus and Eni with Rp 4.75 billion (US$335,456) in an attempt to secure the Riau-1 power plant project for Blackgold. The two politicians have also been convicted for bribery.

The antigraft body charged Sofyan for holding several meetings involving multiple parties regarding the power plant project between 2016 and 2018. During a meeting in 2016 at the Hotel Mulia Senayan in South Jakarta, Sofyan allegedly instructed Johannes to “participate” in the Riau-1 project.

“You should participate in Riau. Forget Java [Island] because it’s already [saturated],” the KPK quoted him as saying at the occasion.

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The antigraft body official named Sofyan a suspect in the Riau-1 graft case in April. At the time of its announcement, the KPK had suspected Sofyan of accepting a bribe from Johannes in return for the rights to develop the Riau-1 power plant.

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