Son of ex-Indonesian minister jailed for rigging state project

Son of ex-Indonesian minister jailed for rigging state project
Guilty: Riefan Avrian, son of former cooperatives and small and medium enterprises minister Syariefuddin “Syarief” Hasan, receives a six-year sentence for his role in rigging a procurement project involving his father’s office.

The Jakarta Corruption Court on Wednesday sentenced Riefan Avrian, the son of former cooperatives and small and medium enterprises minister Syariefuddin "Syarief" Hasan, to six years behind bars for masterminding a scheme to rig a multibillion rupiah state project at his father's office.

"Our examination of the evidence during the trial has found the defendant guilty of corruption together with other parties in the scheme to enrich himself and corporations," presiding judge Nani Indrawati said at the court on Wednesday.

The sentence is slightly lower than the 7.5 years sought by the Jakarta Prosecutor's Office, which charged Riefan with Articles 2 and 3 of the 2001 Corruption Law. The two Articles carry a maximum 20 years punishment for a defendant found guilty of graft, however.

The panel of judges at the court also ordered Riefan to return to the state Rp 5.3 billion (US$417,749) in restitution, the same amount that he embezzled from the Rp 23 billion multimedia procurement project in the office of Syarief, who never accompanied Riefan during his trial, which lasted almost three months trial.

If Riefan fails to pay the restitution then he will have to serve another two years behind bars.

In addition, Riefan is also subject to a Rp 200 million fine or serve another six months behind bars should he fail to pay the amount.

Judge Nani said that Riefan, in full awareness, had deceitfully appointed his office boy Hendra Saputra, who had earlier been sentenced to one year in prison in the case, as the director of PT Imaji Media, a bogus company, to join the tender in a move to conceal his name.

The court later proved the tender did not exist.

Hendra, an unskilled worker who was looking for a good job in Jakarta, worked as a driver and office boy at Riefan's other company, PT Rifuel.

"The defendant [Riefan] used another party, who did not have an adequate education," explained Nani.

Despite concluding that Hendra was a victim in the scheme, in August the panel of judges - then also led by Nani - moved to sentence Hendra in the case, claiming that his "lack of awareness" had caused huge state losses by signing a number of important procurement documents.

In addition to the project, Syarief's office awarded the project to Imaji Media, which later illegally subcontracted all its granted work to PT Rifuel without prior agreement.

Rifuel failed to procure a number of items agreed in the contract but Syarief's office paid the full amount stated in the contract.

The judges concluded that Riefan should bear the legal consequences of establishing the bogus Imaji Media to obtain the project from his father's office.

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