Corruption convicts told to give back cash: Jakarta

JAKARTA - In response to mounting public pressure for the courts to relieve corruption convicts of all of the money they have stolen, the Jakarta Corruption Court on Tuesday ordered a graft convict to do just that.

The Jakarta Corruption Court on Tuesday sentenced Ridwan Sanjaya, an official from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, to six years in prison for rigging a tender bid for a home solar energy system project in 2009 worth Rp 526 billion (US$57.86 million).

Ridwan was found guilty of accepting Rp 14.6 billion in kickbacks from the rigged-procurement project, causing Rp 131 billion in state losses. The court also ordered Ridwan to pay Rp 13.1 billion in restitutions to the state.

"If he fails to pay this within one month, the court will confiscate his assets. And if the assets do not cover the total amount, he must serve another year in jail," presiding judge Gusrizal said.

Ridwan's alleged co-conspirator, who is on trial in a separate case, allegedly pocketed the other Rp 1.5 billion from the Rp 14.6 billion that Ridwan stole.

The court also ordered Ridwan to pay a fine of Rp 250 million or serve an additional three months in jail.

In another trial on Tuesday, prosecutors for the Attorney General's Office demanded that the Jakarta Corruption Court order former KPK administrative staffer Endro Laksono pay Rp 388 million in restitution to the state to cover the state losses he allegedly caused through graft.

"The money belonged to the KPK, which, without doubt, was state money. The defendant has not returned it yet," prosecutor Mochamad Novel said.

Prosecutors found Endro guilty of embezzling Rp 388 million from the Rp 1.5 billion transportation budget for the KPK's prevention unit that he handled between February and December 2009.

Endro's superior became suspicious when at the end of 2009 Endro submitted a administrative report that left Rp 388 million unaccounted for.

The prosecutors said Endro had used the money to pay a dukun (shaman) named Syamsuri Maarif in West Java, who claimed that he could double the money.

Meanwhile, the Medan Corruption Court in North Sumatra sentenced former Pematangsiantar mayor Robert Edison Siahaan to eight years in prison for embezzling money from the local budget in 2007, causing state losses of Rp 7.7 billion.

The judges also ordered Robert to return the money that he embezzled.

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