Seven years sought for Golkar lawmaker

Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, February 28 2014, 9:15 AM

Hot seat: Golkar Party politician Chairun Nisa takes her seat inside the courtroom of the Jakarta Corruption Court on Thursday. Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors sought a 7-year prison term for her alleged role as a go-between in a bribery case involving former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar. JP/Wendra Ajistyatama

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors demanded a seven-year and six-month prison sentence on Thursday for Golkar Party lawmaker Chairun Nisa, who was accused of brokering an election dispute at the Constitutional Court handled by former court chief justice Akil Mochtar.

The case in question centers on the Gunung Mas regency election dispute, in which Chairun allegedly helped persuade Akil, through a Rp 3 billion (US$257,000) bribe, to rule in favor of incumbent Gunung Mas regent Hambit Bintih and reject appeals by losing candidates.

“We call on the panel of judges to find the defendant guilty of corruption,” said prosecutor Pulung Rinandoro as he read the sentence demand at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Thursday.

The prosecutors also demanded the judges order Chairun to pay a Rp 300 million fine or serve an additional six months.

“The defendant actively contacted Akil, Hambit and Cornelis in the bribery scheme,” Pulung said, referring to businessman and Hambit’s cousin Cornelis Nalau Antun, who is also accused of supplying the Rp 3 billion on Hambit’s instructions.

As for Hambit and Cornelis, prosecutors demanded a six-year prison term and a Rp 200 million fine for each of them.

Responding to the prosecutors demands, the three defendants said that they would issue their defense statements in the next hearing.

Akil ‘appointed’ Chairun as the go-between because she was a Golkar member.

A previous hearing revealed that Chairun helped Hambit in exchange for support in the 2014 legislative election in Gunung Mas regency, a stronghold of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). Chairun is running for membership at the House representing an electoral district in Central Kalimantan.

Chairun, who claimed that she only acted as a go-between as a personal favor.

Another previous hearing revealed that Hambit had given her Rp 75 million so she could go on a haj pilgrimage.

After accepting the bribe from Hambit, Akil rejected the appeals by the losing candidates and Hambit was declared the winner by the Gunung Mas General Elections Commission (KPUD), although his inauguration is still in limbo due to his status as a graft suspect at the time.

Earlier, the KPK clashed with the Home Ministry who insisted on inaugurating Hambit regardless of his legal situation. The Ministry insisted that Hambit could only be suspended from his position after being inaugurated as regent.

Akil, who was caught red-handed accepting a bribe in October last year, is currently standing trial for acquiring Rp 57 billion from rigging 10 elections as well as for laundering a total of Rp 160 billion during his term at the court and Rp 20 billion when he was a lawmaker at the House of Representatives.

Akil’s cases involved a number of go-betweens, which ranged from lawyers, lawmakers and businessmen.

Lawyer Susi Tur Andayani was indicted on Monday for brokering South Lampung regency and Lebak regency elections.

Meanwhile, other go-betweens remain free, including businessman Muhtar Efendy, who allegedly acted as middleman in Empat Lawang regency, Palembang City; Lawyer and former lawmaker of the National Mandate Party (PAN) Arbab Paproeka in the Buton regency election; Lawyer Sahrin Hamid in Morotai island regency election; Central Tapanuli former lawmaker Bakhtiar Ahmad Sibarani in Central Tapanuli regency election; Golkar Party East Java branch head Zainuddin Amali in the East Java Gubernatorial election and businessman Tubagus Chaeri Wardana, the younger brother of Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah, in relation to Banten Gubernatorial election.


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