Thursday, October 29, 2020

Indonesia’s Prosecutors demand 7 years jail for Medan mayor in bribery case

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Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors have demanded seven years’ imprisonment and a Rp 500 million (US$33,564) fine for Tengku Dzulmi Eldin, the inactive mayor of Medan in North Sumatra, for his alleged involvement in a bribery case related to projects and positions in the city administration.

Dzulmi allegedly received a total of Rp 2.1 billion in bribes from a number of Medan city officials, including those in high-ranking positions, from 2018 to 2019, said KPK prosecutors Siswhandhono, Arin Karniasari and Yoyok Fiter Haitifewu.

The antigraft body has charged Dzulmi under Article 12 of the 2001 Corruption Law, which prohibits civil servants and public administration officials from accepting bribes.

The prosecutors also demanded that the judges “revoke the right of the defendant to be elected for public office for five years after he has finished serving his sentence” during a hearing at the Medan Corruption Court on Thursday.

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During the previous hearing on March 5, the prosecutors alleged that Dzulmi received the bribes on several occasions from a number of city agency heads in Medan, including then-head of the Public Works Agency Isa Ansyari; Housing and Residential Area Agency head Benny Iskandar; Regional Tax and Levies Management Agency head Suherman; and Transportation Agency head Iswar.

Additionally, 20 other city agency heads and officials were involved in the case, according to the prosecutors.

The prosecutors said Rp 550 million of the bribe money was used for Dzulmi’s operational expenses, while Rp 900 million was used for travel expenses when he visited Japan for Medan’s sister city program, where he reportedly brought along his family members and several individuals unrelated to the program.

The remaining Rp 550 million was used to pay off the travel fee to the travel agents.

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According to KPK prosecutors, the 24 city agency heads and officials involved in the case decided to give Dzulmi bribes in the hope of retaining their position within the Medan city administration, as he was expected to serve as mayor until 2021.

The antigraft body initially arrested Dzulmi and named him a suspect in October last year. His deputy, Akhyar Nasution, subsequently replaced him as acting mayor of Medan following his arrest.

In February, the Medan Corruption Court sentenced Isa Aansyari to two years’ imprisonment and a Rp 250 million fine for his involvement in the bribery case.

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