Jakarta. The South Jakarta District Court has turned down a case review request submitted by fugitive Djoko Tjandra, who seeks to overturn his graft conviction and a sentence of two years’ imprisonment.
The ruling on Wednesday means that all legal avenues to escape the conviction have been exhausted.
It came days after a scandal in which the wanted graft convict had apparently returned and travelled between cities in Indonesia with the help of high-ranking police officers, who were supposed to arrest him in the first place.
The property magnate, who reportedly has received Papua New Guinea citizenship since 2012, also managed to obtain a valid identification card and an Indonesian passport thanks to the service by a Jakarta sub-district head and immigration officials.
Djoko was found guilty by the Supreme Court in 2009 for corruption related to debt settlement between Bank Bali and the now-defunct Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency. He was also ordered to return Rp 546 billion ($37 million) he had illegally accepted as fee for brokering the debt settlement.
"The court has decided that the case review request from Djoko cannot be accepted and will not be proceeded into a Supreme Court hearing," South Jakarta District Court spokesman Suharno said in a news conference.
The reasoning behind the ruling was that Djoko has never attended any hearing at the district court since he registered the request last month, he said.
According to the 2012 Supreme Court circular, a convict who requests a case review must be present at the preliminary hearing by the district court where he or she has registered the request.
"The applicant or the convict has never attended the hearing, so the case review request was rejected,” Suharno said.
The fact that law enforcement officials have discreetly facilitated Djoko’s return has sent shockwave through the media, who then launched investigative reporting into the scandal.
It has been learned recently that Djoko was removed from the Interpol wanted list in 2014 without the consent of the Attorney General’s Office who issued an arrest warrant for him.
The National Central Bureau (NCB) of the Interpol in Jakarta informed Immigration Director General Jhoni Ginting in May that Djoko was no longer on a red notice, paving way for the man to enter Indonesia without arrest.
Two police generals who oversaw the NCB have been demoted, but it remains unclear why they considered it necessary to send a formal notification to the immigration office that Djoko was not on the wanted list six years after the NCB removed the red notice.
Another police general provided travel documents for Djoko and even accompanied him in a flight from Jakarta to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan province, in June.
The high-ranking officer, identified as Brig. General Prasetijo Utomo , has been slapped with criminal charges.
A sub-district head in South Jakarta has dedicated himself for an ID card on Djoko’s name, while immigration officials have produced a passport for him without questioning his legal status.
The sub-district head has been removed from his post, but so far no disciplinary measures, let alone criminal charges, have been pressed against Jhoni Ginting or his subordinates who granted Djoko a passport.