Jakarta. The South Jakarta District Court on Thursday (14/12) rejected Setya Novanto's pretrial appeal to have graft charges against him declared void.
The decision came just a day after prosecutors arraigned the non-active House of Representatives speaker in the first session of his graft trial in the Jakarta Corruption Court.
The start of the trial in the Jakarta Corruption Court invalidates Setya's appeal, according to the Code of Criminal Procedure (Kuhap) and experts who testified during previous hearings of his pretrial motion.
The pretrial appeal was aimed at soliciting the court to revoke a decision by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to declare Setya a suspect in the so-called e-KTP corruption case. However, the start of the trial in the Jakarta Corruption Court has now changed his legal status from suspect to defendant.
In his ruling, Judge Kusno cited this stipulation as his main consideration.
"It is no longer possible to make further legal moves in this pretrial case," Kusno said.
Setya's lawyers insisted throughout the pretrial appeal that the decision by KPK investigators in late October to again charge their client had been "procedurally flawed."
However, lawyer Nana Suryana said the legal team already accepted Thursday's decision and that they would now focus on the ongoing trial in the Jakarta Corruption Court.
Setya's legal team is expected to deliver his defense statement during the next session, scheduled for Dec. 20.
Antigraft prosecutors presented multiple alternative charges against Setya during Wednesday's session. He may face up to 20 years in prison and fine of up to Rp 1 billion ($70,000), if found guilty.
Setya was arraigned in connection with alleged graft in the Rp 5.9 trillion government procurement project for electronic national identity cards, or e-KTP, which resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion in state losses.