Sofyan Basir freed, to ICW’s disappointment

Former President Director of PT PLN (Persero) Sofyan Basir is the third convict ever freed by the Corruption Court so far. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Former President Direc­tor of PT PLN (Persero) Sofyan Basir was the third convict ever freed by the Corruption Court so far. He was the first to be freed by the Corruption Court of Jakarta, while the other two were freed in Bandung and Pekan­baru.

The first convict to be freed was the former Mayor of Bekasi Mochtar Mohammad in the IDR 1.6-billion bribery of member of the Regional House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah – “DPRD”) of Bekasi. Other than this charge of bribery, Mochtar was also charged with the misuse of IDR 639 million’s worth of meal budget to influence of­ficials in order to get them to validate the 2010 Regional Budget. He also gave out IDR 500 million in bribes in order to win the 2010 Adipura Award, as well as bribing Audit Board (Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan – “BPK”) audi­tors at IDR 400 million in order to get his books declared “fair without exception”.

The Corruption Court of Bandung of the District Court of Bandung de­clared Mochtar Mohamad was not legally and validly proven to have perpetrated the crime of corruption, released him from all charges, and rehabilitated his dignity and reputa­tion on 11 October 2011. However, the Corruption Eradication Commis­sion (Komisi Pemberantasan Korup­si – “KPK”) applied for a cessation, causing the Supreme Court to correct this judgment on 7 March 2012 and declare that Mochtar was proven to have perpetrated corrupt act, and to sentence him 6 years’ imprisonment minus 6 months’ detainment, plus a fine of IDR 300 million and IDR 639 million in compensations.

Second, the Regent of Rokan Hulu Suparman was charged with corrup­tion in the discussion of the Revised Regional Budget of the Province of Riau 2014 and the Regional Budget of Riau 2015. In its charges, KPK’s Prosecutor stated that Suparman and his partner, Johar Firdaus, then the Speaker of the DPRD of Riau 2009- 2014, actively planned and requested commission to Governor Annas Maa­mun when discussing the Regional Budget. However, out of the IDR 1.2 billion agreed, only IDR 900 million was passed. The money was divided into 40 envelopes containing IDR 50 million, two envelopes containing IDR 40 million, six envelopes containing IDR 25 million, and 31 envelopes containing IDR 20 million. Johar has separately received IDR 155 million of the IDR 200 million promised to him.

On 23 February 2017, Corruption Court of Pekanbaru at the District Court of Pekanbaru released Supar­man and Johar. On 8 November 2017, the Supreme Court corrected this verdict and stated that the two are validly and legally proven to have performed corruption jointly. The Panel of Cessation then sentenced each to 6 years of imprisonment mi­nus 6 months’ detainment, and a fine of IDR 200 million. They have also lost the right to be elected into a public office for 5 years since the end of their primary sentence.

Third, Sofyan Basir was freed by the Corruption Court of Jakarta from charges of unlawful assistance in the agreement relating to the RIAU- 1 Mine Pit Steam-powered Electricity Generator (Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Uap Mulut Tambang RIAU-1 – “PLTU MT RIAU-1”) Project on 4 Novem­ber 2019. “We declare that convict Sofyan Basir is not legally and validly proven guilty as in the first and sec­ond charges of the Prosecutor,” said Chairman of the Panel of Judges of the Corruption Court of Jakarta, Har­iono, on Monday (04/11/2019).

KPK’s Public Prosecutor requested that Sofyan be sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment minus 3 months’ detainment, plus a fine of IDR 200 million for having facilitated bribes in relation to the procurement of In­dependent Power Producer (IPP) for the PLTU MT RIAU-1 Project. He was specifically charged with the facili­tation of meetings between Member of Commission VII of the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) Eni Maulani Saragih, Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party politician Idrus Mar­ham, and entrepreneur Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo.

Sofyan was declared innocent of violation of Article 12 letter “a” in conjunction with Article 15 of Corrup�­tion Crime Eradication Law, in con­junction with Article 56 Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Law, and violation of Article 11 in conjunction with Article 15 of Corruption Crime Eradication Law in conjunction with Article 56 Paragraph 2 KUHP. He was not prov­en to have facilitated the receipt of bribes from entrepreneur Johanes Budisutrisno Kotjo to former mem­ber of the DPR Eni Maulani Saragih and former Minister of Social Affairs Idrus Marham.

The presiding judge, Hariono, has also requested that Sofyan be tak­en out of KPK’s detention house. He read out the order of the verdict at the hearing in the Corruption Court of Jakarta, Jalan Bungur Besar Raya, Central Jakarta, on Monday (04/11/2019). KPK stated that it is still considering whether to accept the verdict or submit a cessation request.

Meanwhile, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) expressed disappoint­ment over the judgment that releases former PT PLN President Sofyan Ba­sir from charges of corruption in the PLTU Riau-1 Project, as his name was frequently mentioned in the hearings of the previous convicts in the case. The statement was made by ICW re­searcher Kurnia Ramadhana at the ICW Office, Kalibata, South Jakarta, on Monday (04/11/2019).

Kurnia connected the verdict of Sofyan’s freedom with the polemic relating to the new KPK Law, which is considered to have constitutionally weakened KPK. Furthermore, “Such overturning of charges in corruption cases is a further weakening of KPK. The institution is already weakened by law, and corruption convicts are also given light sentences and even freed,” he said.

Kurnia hopes that KPK would quickly submit the verdict for cessa­tion at the Supreme Court: “Let us encourage KPK’s Prosecution to press for cessation MA. We believe that the evidence brought by KPK to the court is solid. Furthermore, the oth­er convicts in the case – Eni Saragih and Idrus Marham – have both been found guilty,” he said. (des)