Most Indonesians Prefer Life Sentence for Convicted House Speaker: Poll

Most Indonesians are disappointed with the Jakarta Corruption Court's decision on Tuesday (24/04) to sentence former House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto to 15 years in prison for his role in the high-profile e-KTP graft case, a survey showed. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

By : Sheany and Telly Nathalia | on 10:01 PM April 24, 2018
Category : News, Crime, Featured, Corruption

Jakarta. Most Indonesians are disappointed with the Jakarta Corruption Court's decision on Tuesday (24/04) to sentence former House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto to 15 years in prison for his role in the high-profile e-KTP graft case, a survey showed.

More than 50 percent of respondents who participated in online survey by Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) on Twitter on Tuesday said they were disappointed with the court's decision, Adnan Topan Husodo, coordinator of the watchdog, told the Jakarta Globe.

"After judges read out the 15-year sentence, we asked [Twitter followers] again whether they were satisfied or not [with the decision]. More than 50 percent said [they were] unsatisfied," Adnan said, adding that more than 1,000 respondents participated in the survey.

From its previous survey, ICW found that 77 percent of more than 1,500 respondents agreed that Setya should receive a life sentence for his role in massive graft in the procurement project for electronic national identity cards, or e-KTP.

The online survey was conducted as  Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors read out their sentence demand of a 16-year prison term for Setya, Adnan explained.

Ruling of Setya's Graft Case

Setya's involvement in the graft case has reportedly caused Rp 2.3 trillion ($165.8 million) in state losses.

"Setya Novanto is proven guilty of corruption. He is sentenced to 15 years in jail and a fine of Rp 500 million," according to the court verdict, delivered by the presiding judge, Yanto, as reported by state-run news agency Antara.

Setya is also barred from holding public office for five years (effective after his prison term) and has been ordered to pay $7.3 million in restitution to the state – the amount he is believed to have received in kickbacks from the Rp 5.9 trillion e-KTP procurement project.

The court said it will seize Setya's assets if he fails to pay the restitution.

"Should his assets be insufficient to cover the amount of restitution, the defendant will be sentenced to two years' additional imprisonment," Judge Yanto said.

Setya was convicted under the 2001 Anti-Corruption Law.

Prosecutors said Setya was among 80 officials who used the e-KTP project to embezzle more than a third of the project's total funds.

The panel of judges also rejected Setya's appeal to be a justice collaborator in the e-KTP graft case. Under the 2012 regulation on rights of prisoners, corruption convicts can only be granted remission if the court grants them a justice collaborator status.

"Setya Novanto did not fulfill the necessary requirements to become a justice collaborator, and therefore the judges cannot consider the defendant's appeal," said Hakim Anwar, one of the judges, as quoted by BeritaSatu.com.

Not Cooperative

Setya, who previously served as chairman of the Golkar Party, did not comply with initial summonses last year from KPK, claiming work reasons and asserting immunity as a lawmaker.

In October, Setya won a pretrial appeal to have his suspect status removed after being formally charged by KPK. The presiding judge had ruled that evidence gathered in the case against Setya and the consequent naming of the speaker as a graft suspect was "procedurally flawed."

However, KPK investigators renamed Setya a suspect in November and was placed on the police's wanted list after he made attempts to avoid arrest in the antigraft agency's ongoing e-KTP probe.

On Nov. 16 last year, Setya was hospitalized after a car crash, just a day after investigators arrived at his home in South Jakarta with an arrest warrant.

He was discharged after a few days, and transferred to a KPK detention center after doctors said he did not need to be hospitalized and was fit to be questioned by the authorities.

The 62-year-old has been repeatedly named in various corruption cases in recent years, though he never went to trial for his alleged involvement in those cases.

This includes the Bank Bali case in 2001, which resulted in Rp 1 trillion in state losses, as well as a case involving the smuggling of 60,000 tons of Vietnamese rice in 2010.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the court's verdict should be a warning to other officials.

"This should be a warning to everyone to refrain from abusing their power in office," Kalla said.

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