Former Bandung mayor gets 10 years in prison for bribery

The Bandung Corruption Court on Monday sentenced former Bandung mayor Dada Rosada to 10 years in prison after finding him guilty of bribing the court's former judges.

"He is also required to pay a fine of Rp 600 million (S$66,000) or serve an additional three months in prison," presiding judge Nur Hakim said during the sentencing.

The verdict was lighter than the 15 years sought by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors.

The panel of judges found Dada guilty of jointly committing corruption with Bandung administration secretary Edi Siswadi, his subordinate Herry Nurhayat, Toto Hutagalung and judge Setyabudi Tedjocahyono, in a graft case involving Bandung social assistance funds in 2009 and 2010.

The crime was in violation of articles pertaining to bribing a judge and state officials in Law No. 31/1999 on corruption eradication that was amended to Law No. 20/2001.

Following the trial, Dada said he was still mulling over the court ruling.

"I'm still considering whether or not to appeal. There's still time," he said.

The same sentiment was expressed by KPK prosecutor Riyono.

In the verdict, the court's panel of judges said that one of the mitigating factors in sentencing was the defendant's role as a justice collaborator.

Riyono said he disagreed with the panel, and that Dada's confession was totally unrelated to the evidence in the case.

As a justice collaborator, added Riyono, a defendant should disclose the involvement of other parties in the same case.

"But, the judges could say something different. They might see it from another perspective. That's their right," said Riyono.

In December last year, the court handed down a 12-year sentence and a Rp 200 million fine to Setyabudi, who was found guilty in the bribery case.

The KPK earlier named two other judges, namely Pasti Serefina Sinaga and Ramlan Comel, as suspects in the case.

They are now being tried at the same court.

Along with Setyabudi, Pasti and Ramlan are believed to have accepted bribes from a number of Bandung administration officials, who were tried in the Bandung District Court for allegedly embezzling Rp 40 billion in social aid funds, managed by the city's administration.

During the trial, Setyabudi reportedly asked for Rp 3 billion for the judges to give a lighter sentence in the social funds case.

The bribery case has also implicated other defendants, such as former Bandung Assets and Financial Management Office head Herry, Toto and his subordinate Asep Triana, as well as Bandung administration secretary Edi.

Herry was sentenced to five years and fined Rp 200 million, while Toto received a sentence of seven years and a fine of Rp 200 million, Asep faced three-and-a-half years and Rp 200 million and Edi received eight years and a Rp 500 million fine.

None of the convicts other than Dada received the label of being a justice collaborator, though Dada was only tried recently, after Setyabudi, Herry, Toto and Asep.

Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) working body member Emerson Yuntho described the court ruling as strange.

He said the label of justice collaborator should have been given during examinations, to create the possibility of naming other suspects.

"If a justice collaborator doesn't have a role in disclosing a bigger case, what's the point [of giving such a label]?" said Emerson.

Regarding the verdict, Emerson suggested that prosecutors file an appeal at a higher court. "Although the sentence was quite harsh, the verdict was strange, as it was far lower than that sought by prosecutors," said Emerson.

The verdict against Dada adds to a growing list of regents and mayors nationwide who have been sentenced for corruption.

Last month, Gunung Mas regent Hambit Bintih was sentenced to four years in prison for bribing Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar in an election dispute in a regency of Central Kalimantan in 2013.

In February last year, Amran Batalipu, former regent of Buol, Central Sulawesi, was found guilty of accepting a bribe from a businessperson linked to the Democratic Party.

In the same month, the Central Java Prosecutors Office arrested former Demak regent Endang Setyaningdyah, who had been at large for almost a year, after the Semarang Corruption Court sentenced the regent to one year in prison for graft worth Rp 2.1 billion.