Lawyers jailed for bribing Supreme Court official


Haeril Halim/ The Jakarta Post | National | Tue, December 17 2013, 9:52 AM

The Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced on Monday Supreme Court staffer Djodi Supratman to two years in prison for accepting bribes.

The sentence was lighter than the three years sought by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors.

“We, the panel of judges, hereby declare that the defendant is guilty of corruption and is sentenced to two years in prison for his actions,” presiding judge Antonius Widijantono said in his verdict on Monday.

Djodi is also required to pay a Rp 100 million (US$8,261) fine or serve an additional four months, should he fail to pay the penalty.

Djodi was found guilty of accepting Rp 150 million in bribes from Mario Cornelio Bernardo, a lawyer at Hotma Sitompul and Associates.

The bribe was paid to help deal with a fraud case implicating businessman Hutomo Wijaya Ongowarsito, which was handled by the country’s highest judicial body.

Mario, in a separate hearing on Monday in the same case, was sentenced by the Jakarta Corruption Court to four years in prison. The panel of judges found Mario guilty of bribing Djodi.

The sentence for Mario was lighter than the prosecutors’ demand of five years’ imprisonment.

The panel also ordered Mario, who is the cousin of well-known lawyer Hotma Sitompul, to pay a Rp 200 million fine or serve an additional six months in prison.

The judges said that Mario asked Djodi to help with a case at the Supreme Court.

Mario made an attempt to persuade the Supreme Court judges to rule in favor of his client. Djodi then relayed Mario’s message to Suprapto, the staffer of Supreme Court justice Andi Abu Ayyub Saleh.

When testifying at a hearing last month, Andi maintained that Suprapto never told him anything and that “it is not the practice of his office that a staffer discusses information regarding cases” at the Supreme Court.

“He [Suprapto] does not even dare to make eye contact when talking to me. So why would he have the courage to talk to me about cases at the Supreme Court. It is impossible,” he said.

“To make the deal happen, the defendant [Djodi] called Supratno, an associate from they both were security officers at the Supreme Court. According to the Supreme Court’s website, one of the judges who handled Hutomo’s case was Supreme Court justice Andi Abu Ayyub Saleh. Suprapto is close to Andi Abu Ayyub,” Judge Hendra
Yosfin said.

The arrest of Mario has also exposed illicit practices conducted by lawyers in defending their clients.

The KPK has also questioned Hotma for his possible role in the bribery case.

Hotma has denied that he instructed Mario to give the bribe to Djodi.

Hotma, a top advocate who often represents high-profile graft defendants such as former taxman Gayus H. Tambunan and now disgraced police general Djoko Susilo.

Hotma also defended former Golkar Party chairman Akbar Tandjung when he stood trial over the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) case, as well as Syarifuddin Umar, a former Central Jakarta District Court judge who was convicted of corruption last year.

He also represented Syahril Djohan, a major “case broker” believed to have strong links with prosecutors and senior officials at the National Police headquarters. In 2011, Syahril was sentenced to 18 months for his involvement in a
bribery case.

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