Lawyer could face 20 years for brokering local election disputes

Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Tue, February 25 2014, 10:17 AM

Lawyer Susi Tur Andayani was indicted Monday for brokering election disputes at the Constitutional Court (MK) with former chief justice Akil Mochtar. She could face 20 years in prison

During her first hearing Monday, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors accused Susi, the lawyer for the Amir Hamzah-Kasmin Saelani ticket in the Lebak regency local election, of helping her client annul the victory of the Iti Octavia Jayabaya-Ade Sumardi ticket.

Akil, in exchange for Rp 1 billion (US$85,845), helped arrange victory for the Amir-Kasmin ticket.

Akil instructed Susi to deliver a message to Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah — who wanted to retain control of the regency by backing Amir — urging her to provide Rp 3 billion for a favorable ruling in the local election. Because Amir did not have enough money, Atut instructed her brother Tubagus Chaeri “Wawan” Wardana, a well-known politically-wired Banten businessman, to provide Rp 1 billion.

Akil said he was disappointed.

“I hesitantly worked on the verdict because the amount was not as earlier agreed,” Akil said to Susi, who later convinced him that the remainder of the money would follow the ruling.

Akil, who later annulled Iti’s victory and ruled that a revote should take place in Lebak, was arrested by the KPK on Oct. 2 last year.

Akil was caught in the act of accepting a bribe in relation to a local election dispute in Gunung Mas regency in Central Kalimantan. On the same day, the KPK also arrested Wawan and Susi with the Rp 1 billion. One month later, the KPK later arrested Atut for her role in the Lebak election dispute case.

Akil and two other court justices Maria Farida Indrati and Anwar Usman worked on the ruling. Both Maria and Anwar were summoned by the KPK last year as witnesses for Akil.

Maria, when speaking after her questioning, said that Akil acted alone when rigging election disputes at the court.

“He [Akil] never gave us directives,” Maria said.

During the trail it also came out that Susi acted as middleman and delivered Rp 500 million to Akil from Regent Rycko Menoza and his Deputy Eki Setyanto, of the 2010 South Lampung regency election, to reject appeals filed at the court by three losing candidates: Wendy Melfa-Antoni Imam, Fadhil Hakim-Andi Aziz and Andi Warisno-A. Benbela.

“The money was given to influence Akil to reject the appeals filed by the three pairs of candidates,” prosecutor Edy Hartono said, reading the indictment document, adding that the panel of justices were Akil, as head of the panel as well as Muhammad Alim and Hamdan Zoelva, as members.

The prosecutor said that the Rp 250 million was wired to Akil’s personal bank account and Rp 250 million to the bank account of CV Ratu Samagat, a private company owned by Akil’s wife.

“Akil asked that the transfers were named ‘payment for palm oil’ and ‘bill payment’, respectively, to conceal the origins of the money,” Edy said.

Akil’s final trial hearing was Thursday last week.

Prosecutors accused him of acquiring Rp 57 billion from rigging 10 elections and laundering a total of Rp 180 billion, Wawan was scheduled to have his first trial session on Monday but it had to be rescheduled to Thursday due to poor health.

“He has to undergo medical treatment at a hospital,” KPK spokesman Johan Budi said.


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