Ex-House Speaker's Lawyers Question Antigraft Prosecutors' 'Flawed' Indictment

Graft defendant Setya Novanto's lawyers called prosecutors' indictment against the non-active House of Representatives speaker 'judicially flawed' in a defense plea presented in court on Wednesday (20/11). (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A)

By : Alin Almanar | on 5:39 PM December 20, 2017
Category : News, Featured, Corruption

Jakarta. Graft defendant Setya Novanto's lawyers called prosecutors' indictment against the non-active House of Representatives speaker "judicially flawed" in a defense plea presented in court on Wednesday (20/11).

Last week's indictment revealed how a Rp 5.9 trillion ($413 million) government project involving national electronic identity cards, or e-KTP, was being rigged, causing Rp 2.3 trillion in state losses.

Setya's lawyers, having reviewed earlier indictments against other defendants in the case, told the court there had been "inconsistency" of facts between the indictments.

The facts should be the same as the defendants were accused of "committing corruption collectively" in the same case and thus Setya's case should not proceed, his lawyers said.

They also said the "unclear and incomplete" indictment against Setya had made their client "difficult to understand what he is being indicted for."

The indictment, presented in Setya's first trial hearing last week, also revealed how funds embezzled from the project were flowing to him and dozens of fellow lawmakers as well as government officials.

Setya's lawyers said several lawmakers in earlier indictments said to have received the funds were not mentioned in the one against their client.

Thus the total amount of funds that were earlier said to have been embezzled but were not mentioned in the indictment against Setya totaled around Rp 230 billion, according to the 60-page defense plea.

"Our question is, where has the money received by the people mentioned in the previous indictments gone?" lawyer Maqdir Ismail said at the Jakarta Corruption Court.

There were also lawmakers in all of the indictments said to have received funds from the project but the amounts mentioned were different for the same person, Setya's lawyers said.

Setya himself stands accused of having received $7.3 million from the project.

Officials from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), countering Setya's lawyers' complaints, have said the indictment had been drawn up specifically for him but its construction was basically still the same as earlier ones.

Parts of the indictment against Setya were different from the others given the graft defendants' respective roles in the case and this was part of KPK's "strategy," spokesman Febri Dianysah said earlier.

KPK prosecutors are scheduled to respond to Wednesday's defense plea in a third hearing of Setya's trial next Thursday.

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