Supreme Court grants Idrus Marham appeal

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Idrus’s sentence, which was originally five years, is reduced to two years in prison. (Photo: Prive Doc.)

IO, Jakarta – The Supreme Court (MA) has agreed to hear the appeal filed by former Golkar Party Secretary-General Idrus Marham regarding the corruption case of the Riau-1 PLTU. Idrus’s sentence, which was originally five years, was reduced to two years in prison. “Decision to grant the appeal” as quoted from the Supreme Court website, Tuesday (3/12).

The sentence was decided by a panel of judges on December 2, 2019, with Chief Judge Suhadi and judges Krisna Harahap and Abdul Latief.

In its consideration, the panel of judges stated that Idrus violated Article 11 of the Corruption Law, which reads:

Convicted with a maximum imprisonment of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years and / or a fine of at least IDR 50 million and a maximum of IDR 250 million, given because of the power or authority associated with the position, or in the mind of the person who gives the gift or promise is related to his position.

Although Idrus received a gift related to the Riau-1 PLTU project, according to the panel of judges, Idrus was not the determining element who was authorized to make the project decision. “He did not meet the decisive element authorized to make the decision,” Suhadi said.

Meanwhile, Idrus’ attorney, Samsul Huda, appreciated the ruling of the Supreme Court which reduced the sentence of Idrus to two years. Nevertheless, according to Samsul, his client should have been acquitted because he was not involved at all in the Riau-1 PLTU project. “His name was only mentioned by Enny Maulani Saragih who received a sum of money from the project,” Samsul said through written statements.

Besides, Idrus also did not know about bribery in the project. “From the facts of the trial it is clear that this project has been arranged by someone else,” he said.

This whirlpool started with Kotjo as a shareholder of Blackgold Natural Resources Ltd (BNR) wanting to get a project at PLN, but had difficulty communicating with PLN. Until finally Kotjo asked for the help of Setya Novanto, who was then the General Chairperson of the Golkar Party, as well as the Chair of the Parliament (DPR).

Novanto is said to have known Kotjo for a long time. From Novanto, Kotjo was introduced to Eni Saragih, who served in the Parliament’s Commission VII. Through Eni, Kotjo could communicate directly with PLN’s Managing Director Sofyan Basir.

Eni faithfully reported the development of Kotjo to Novanto. But later Novanto stumbled into a corruption case on the e-KTP project. Eni then turned around by reporting to Idrus as a representation of the Golkar leadership at that time. Prosecutors said Idrus was directing Eni to ask for money from Kotjo, including for Golkar Party National Conference needs.

In that case, Kotjo was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison, Eni was sentenced to 6 years in prison and Sofyan Basir was declared not involved and set free.

Idrus was previously sentenced to 3 years in prison and a fine of IDR 150 million by the judges of the Jakarta Corruption Court. Idrus, who is also a former Minister of Social Affairs, was found guilty of accepting bribes of IDR 2.25 billion from businessman Johanes Kotjo regarding the Riau-1 PLTU project. His sentence was later increased in the Jakarta High Court to 5 years in prison. Idrus then submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court.

This is not the first time that the Supreme Court has cut the sentence for celebrity corruptors; here is a list:

1. M. Sanusi
A former member of Jakarta’s regional House of Representatives (DPRD), M Sanusi was proven to have received a bribe of IDR 2 billion from Agung Podomoro Land’s boss, Ariesman Widjaja. The money is related to the discussion of the Draft on Regional Regulation on Spatial Planning for the North Coast Strategic Area (RTRKSP) of Jakarta at the Jakarta’s DPRD.

Sanusi was later sentenced to 7 years in prison. The prosecutor did not accept it and appealed. The sentence is increased to 10 years in prison. Seated as chairman of the assembly Daniel Dalle Pairunan, with members Humuntal Pane, Sri Anggarwati, Jeldi Ramadhan, and Anthon Saragih. The verdict was upheld at the cassation level. Not accepting, Sanusi submitted a request for reconsideration (PK) and was granted.

Seated as the chair of the assembly, Prof. Surya Jaya with LL Hutagalung and Eddy Army as members. The Assembly reduced the sentence of M Sanusi to 7 years in prison. However, Surya Jaya was dissenting in his opinion and disagreed that M Sanusi’s sentence was downgraded, but Surya Jaya was outvoted by the other members.

2. Irman Gusman
The former Chairman of the Senate (DPD) was proven to be corrupt in handling sugar imports. Irman is considered to have received bribes from the Director of CV Semesta Berjaya, Xaveriandy Sutanto and Memi.

At the trial, Irman was proven to have used his influence as Chairman of the DPD to regulate the granting of imported sugar quotas from Bulog to Xaveriandy’s company. Irman was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison by the Central Jakarta District Court. The decision was legally binding.

At the cessation level, Supreme Court judges Suhadi, Eddy Army and Abdul Latief cut the sentence for him to three years in prison.

3. Patrialis Akbar
The Supreme Court (MA) granted the request for reconsideration (PK) of former constitutional judge Patrialis Akbar. Patrialis was proven to be a ‘trader’ in the case of the Constitutional Court’s decision. The Supreme Court curtailed Patrialis’ sentence from 8 years in prison to 7 years in prison. Seated as chairman of the assembly Andi Samsam Nganro with LL Hutagalung and Sri Murwahyuni members.

4. Choel Mallarangeng
The Supreme Court (MA) circumcised Choel Mallarangeng’s sentence from 3.5 years to 3 years in prison in the Hambalang project corruption case. The reason for the Supreme Court was that Choel had returned the of IDR 7 billion of stolen funds.

Sitting as chairman of the panel of justices was Salman Luthan, with justices Prof. Abdul Latief and Sri Murwahyuni.

5. O.C. Kaligis
The Supreme Court (MA) cut OC Kaligis’ sentence from 10 years in prison to 7 years in prison. O.C. Kaligis was proven to bribe the Chairperson of Medan State Administrative Court (PTUN), Tripeni, et al.

The decision was made by the Deputy Chief Justice MA Syarifuddin, with members Surya Jaya and LL Hutagalung. According to them, if OC Kaligis continues to be sentenced to 10 years in prison, then he can only be released from prison at the age of 84 years.

“The convict, who is 74 years old, certainly in undergoing a sentence in a Penitentiary will face difficult times with a variety of illnesses and psychological suffering that can be experienced by a convicted person and will certainly worsen his health condition at the Penitentiary,” the assembly said unanimously. (des)