Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Tue, March 18 2014, 11:28 AM
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors demanded on Monday a 13-year prison sentence for Ahmad Jauhari, a former top official at the Religious Affairs Ministry, for his role in a Koran procurement graft case that caused state losses of Rp 27 billion (US$2.4 million).
Ahmad, the ministry’s former director of sharia guidance, is standing trial for allegedly receiving kickbacks of Rp 100 million and $15,000 for rigging a Koran procurement project between 2011 and 2012.
The total value of the procurement project was Rp 20 billion in 2011 and Rp 55 billion in 2012.
“We call on the panel of judges to find the defendant guilty of corruption and sentence him to 13 years behind bars,” prosecutor Titik Utami said at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Monday.
KPK prosecutors also demanded Ahmad pay Rp 200 million in fines or serve an additional 6 months in prison. They called on the judges to order Ahmad to return the Rp 100 million and $15,000 to the state.
In committing the corruption, prosecutors said, Ahmad worked with other individuals, including Abdul Karim, the former secretary-general at Ahmad’s directorate; Mashuri, a staffer at the ministry; Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Nasaruddin Umar; middleman Zulkarnaen Djabar, who is a member of House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing religion and the House budget committee (Banggar); Golkar Party politician Fahd El Fouz; director of PT Adhi Aksara Abadi Indonesia Ali Djufrie; and PT Sinergi Pustaka Indonesia director Abdul Kadir Alaydrus.
Prosecutors also accused Ahmad of making payouts of Rp 50 million and $5,000 to Mashuri; Rp 6.7 billion to PT Perkasa Jaya Abadi Nusantara, which is owned by the legislator Zulkarnaen’s family; Rp 5.8 billion to PT Adhi Aksara Abadi Indonesia; and 21.2 billion to PT Sinergi Pustaka Indonesia.
Prosecutor Rusdi Amin said that Ahmad, along with the aforementioned individuals, had given the Koran procurement tender to PT Adhi Aksara Abadi Indonesia in 2011, even though the company did not go through the proper procedure.
“Ahmad made the decision to choose the company in exchange for Rp 100 million and $15,000 from [company directors] Djufrie and Abdul Kadir,” Rusdi said.
According to prosecutors, in 2012 Ahmad awarded the project to PT Sinergi Pustaka Indonesia, the company that was recommended by Zulkarnaen, before the ministry officially opened the tender to the public.
Responding to the prosecutors’ sentencing demands, Ahmad and his team of lawyers said they would prepare their defense statements slated to be read in court next week.
So far, the Koran graft case has seen Zulkarnaen and his son Dendy Prasetya found guilty and sentenced to 15 years and eight years in prison respectively.
The Religious Affairs Ministry has been plagued by graft cases for years. Recently, the KPK announced that it had launched a preliminary investigation into the procurement of goods and services in the 2012-2013 haj program carried out by the Ministry.