Jakarta. The national antigraft agency has revealed that "luxury rooms" and leave permits have been sold at the Sukamiskin prison for corruption convicts in Bandung, West Java, after the arrest of the detention center's head, Wahid Husen, on Saturday (22/07).
Wahid, who took office only four months ago, has been named a suspect for allegedly taking bribes of Rp 279 million ($19,255) and $1,410, and two Mitsubishi cars in exchange of providing special room facilities and permissions for convicts to leave the prison without police escort.
Besides Wahid, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested his aide Hendry Saputra and inmates Fahmi Darmawansyah and Andri Rahmat.
"The rate per room is between Rp 200 million and Rp 500 million to get certain facilities. We are still investigating it further," KPK deputy chairman Laode Syarif told reporters, as quoted by Beritasatu.
KPK also showed a video of Fahmi's cell, which is similar to an air-conditioned apartment room with a television set, bookcases, cabinets, a washing basin, a refrigerator, a spring bed and a bathroom with a water heater.
Fahmi, former director of Merial Esa, was sentenced to two years and eight months in 2017, in a bribery case regarding a monitoring satellite of the Marine Security Agency (Bakamla). He is married to actress Inneke Koesherawati, who is also investigated by KPK.
It is not the first time that special treatment is offered to wealthy inmates. In 2010, Artalyta Suryani, convicted in a graft case related to the Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance (BLBI) program, had a luxurious room at the Rutan Pondok Bambu prison for women in East Jakarta.
According to Laode, corruption convicts often abuse the extraordinary permits granted to them leave the place of their detention, which they can obtain if they are sick or have to witness their child's wedding.
"It usually happens when they are sick, but when we check the hospital, they are nowhere to be found. This misuse of extraordinary permits is common, because they have the right to receive them," Laode said.
No Need for Special Prisons
According to Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) activist Emerson Yuntho, the government should close down its special detention centers for corruption convicts, as it is discriminatory to other prisoners.
"Prisons for corruption convicts must be the same as for other criminals, to have a stronger effect … Especially because the cells for corruptors are more comfortable than other cells," Emerson told state news agency Antara.
Lawmaker Erma Suryani of House of Representatives Commission III, which oversees law, human rights and security, said that other prisons are over capacity, with 32 inmates often living together in 15-square-meter cells, which is inhuman.
The government's daily budget per inmate is only Rp 15,000 — a stark contrast with the conditions offered at Sukamiskin.
Sukamiskin has been known to give preferential treatment to some of its prisoners. Last year, Tempo magazine revealed that some of its inmates, including Anggoro Widjojo (involved in a corruption case at the Ministry of Forestry), former Palembang Mayor Romi Herto and former Bogor district head Rachmat Yasin, could leave the prison without police escort.