Jakarta. Richard Louhenapessy, the former mayor of Ambon, was indicted for taking Rp 11.3 billion ($740,000) from businesses and city officials during his opening graft trial held remotely in the Maluku capital on Thursday.
Richard followed the hearing from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detention facility in Jakarta through video conference.
According to prosecutors, the two-term mayor has accepted illegal payments from many individuals and businesses in return for business licenses or awards for lucrative projects in his city.
He was detained by the KPK in May for allegedly accepting Rp 500 million from a representative of major retailer Alfamidi who sought to open outlets in Ambon.
Further investigation revealed that Richard also took payment from many other people and contractors, the Ambon District Court heard.
“Overall, the defendant has, directly and indirectly, accepted Rp 11,259,960,000 [in bribes],” lead prosecutor Taufiq Ibnugroho told the court.
Richard is a career politician for the Golkar Party and has served in the Maluku Legislative Council for four terms, according to Kompas news website.
He is also the current chairman of Golkar Party’s Ambon chapter.