Top Indonesian Judge Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Corruption

Published: 05 September 2017

By Jonny Wrate

Indonesia’s corruption court handed one of the country’s former top judges an eight-year sentence Monday for accepting bribes in return for political influence, ABC News reported.

Patrialis Akbar is the second Constitutional Court judge to be imprisoned for bribery since 2014.

A five-member panel of judges found Patrialis guilty of taking kickbacks from meat importer Basuki Hariman to influence the outcome of a judicial review of the law on animal husbandry.

In August, Basuki was sentenced to seven years in prison for bribing Patrialis through a middleman called Kamaludin, believed to a close associate of the judge, Indonesian national newspaper Kompas reported.

Basuki’s secretary, Ng Fenny, was sentenced to five years in prison the same day, according to Kompas.

All three were arrested in a series of sting operations in Jakarta in late January, according to the Jakarta Globe.

Last month, middleman Kamaludin told judges he had told Patrialis about the Rp 2 billion (US$ 150,139) bribes, according to the Jakarta Post.

After Monday’s verdict, however, state news Antara reported that Patrialis maintained his innocence.

The final sentence was more lenient than the 12 and a half years state prosecutors were demanding, as judges took in account his long record serving in government, according to Kompas.

He had previously served as the Minister of Justice and Human Rights and had received the Satyalancana award from the state for his civil service.

The judges said Patrialis had received expenses of US$ 10,000 to perform minor hajj and approximately US$ 300 for golf. The panel also fined him US$ 22,500 or face an additional three month prison sentence, according to ABC News.

Akil Mohtar, another former Constitutional Court judge, was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for accepting bribes.