Murder Convict's Generous Sentence Cut Raises Questions

Yasonna Laoly, Indonesian Minister of Justice and Human Rights, second from left. (Antara Photo/M. Agung Rajasa)

By : Yeremia Sukoyo | on 9:08 PM September 18, 2015
Category : News

Jakarta. Lawmakers questioned on Friday the Justice Ministry's decision to grant a generous sentence cut to murder convict Sigid Haryo Wibisono, which allowed him to be released on parole earlier this month.

Businessman Sigid was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2010 for financing the murder of Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, the director of the company Putra Rajawali Banjaran.

Former anti-graft czar Antasari Azhar was also found to have been involved in the high-profile murder case and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Akbar Hadi Prabowo, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry's directorate general of prisons, said that Sigid had been out on parole since Sept. 6.

He was freed after receiving a total of 43 months and 20 days in general and special sentence cuts.

Akbar told on Thursday that Sigid's parole was in accordance with all official requirements.

Counting also the sentence cuts, Sigid had served two-thirds of his 15-year sentence as he had been detained since April 2009, the spokesman said.

Masinton Pasaribu, a lawmaker at Commission III of the House of Representatives, which oversees legal affairs, wondered why Sigid's prison sentence was shortened so drastically. He said the commission would summon Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly and the prisons director general to demand an explanation.

"The public deserves to know how the sentence cut decision was made -- what are the requirements and why was it granted. It was a huge sentence cut," the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmaker said on Friday.

Abdul Fickar Hadjar, a legal expert from Trisakti University, said that even though convicts under certain conditions are entitled to sentence reductions, there are limits.

"It's very suspicious ... Sentence cuts are proposed and [this process] is prone to bribery," he said.

Antasari could also file for parole in 2016 if he receives more sentence cuts next year. He is taking part in a program that allows him to readjust to society, which involves -- in his case -- a 9-to-5 job at a notary office.

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