Sat, Apr 21, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Ex-government official jailed for US$500,000 graft

AFP, JAKARTA

Muhammad Nazaruddin, former treasurer of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s ruling Democratic Party, smiles yesterday as he leaves the courtroom after his trial in Jakarta.

Photo: Reuters

An Indonesian anti-corruption court sentenced the ruling Democratic Party’s former treasurer yesterday to almost five years’ jail in a case that has caused embarrassment for the Indonesian president’s party.

Muhammad Nazaruddin was convicted of taking 4.6 billion rupiah (US$501,400) to award the company Duta Graha Indah a contract to build an athlete’s village for the regional Southeast Asian Games last year.

“The defendant was convincingly proven guilty of committing criminal activities under the corruption law,” judge Darmawati Ningsih told the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court. “The court sentences him to four years and 10 months in prison, and fines him 200 million rupiah, which can be substituted with another four months prison.”

The judge said Nazaruddin had “tainted the image of the government, which is trying to combat corruption.”

The former politician told the court he would think about whether to appeal.

Prosecutors had sought a seven-year sentence for the former treasurer, who fled the country in May last year when investigators linked him to the rigged tender and was extradited from Colombia with the help of Interpol in August.

Nazaruddin could cause political turmoil for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, claiming since the trial began in late November last year that several party members are involved in scandals worth millions of US dollars.

He has named party chairman Anas Urbaningrum and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng, both of whom have expressed presidential aspirations for 2014.

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