Friday, October 23, 2020

Indonesia court sentenced former election commissioner for bribery

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The Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court on Monday sentenced former General Election Commission, or KPU, commissioner Wahyu Setiawan to six years in jail for taking bribe from politicians of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

Wahyu was found guilty of taking at least Rp 600 million in bribe, which the court said was given to him so that he would help a PDI-P politician who sought to fill a vacant House of Representatives seat.

He has resigned from his position since he was named a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, in January.

According to the judge panel, Wahyu was paid in return for helping PDI-P politician Harun Masiku win the seat vacated by a fellow party member who has died. Harun has been named a suspect as well but he remains at large.

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The court document mentions that PDI-P politician Nazarudin Kiemas from the South Sumatra electoral district died weeks before the April 2019 election but his name stayed on the ballot despite attempts by the PDI-P to get his name removed. Nazarudin was eventually elected and the KPU awarded his seat to another PDI-P politician named Riezky Aprilia, who came second in the number of votes won.

The PDI-P, for reasons unknown, insisted that the seat be handed to Harun but their request was turned down by the election commission. Riezky won more than 44,000 votes while Harun got only around 5,800 during last year’s election. The PDI-P then turned to the disgraced KPU commissioner for help.

Another Convict

Agustiani Tio Fridelina, a former member of the Election Supervisory Agency, or Bawaslu, was also found guilty and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment in same case.

Agustiani, also a PDI-P politician, was convicted of channeling the bribe money to Wahyu.

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“The crime committed by both defendants could potentially undermine results of the election, a democratic process that represents the sovereignty of the people,” Presiding Judge Susanti Arsi Wibawani said when reading out the verdict.

The prosecutors’ indictment has mentioned several other PDI-P strong men, including Secretary-General Hasto Kristiyanto, for their alleged role in the bribery.

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