Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Thu, March 06 2014, 9:19 AM
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Wednesday named two judges in West Java corruption suspects for allegedly accepting bribes in connection to a major corruption case implicating a former Bandung mayor.
“We have found strong evidence and have officially named two judges, with the initials PSS and RC, as suspects,” KPK spokesman Johan Budi told a press briefing on Wednesday, referring to judges Pasti Serefina Sinaga and Ramlan Comel.
Ramlan is an ad-hoc anti corruption judge at the Bandung District Court while Pasti is a judge at the West Java High Court. The two have been subject to travel bans since October last year.
Both judges are believed to have accepted bribes from a number of Bandung administration officials tried in the Bandung District Court for allegedly embezzling Rp 40 billion (US$3.4 million) in social aid funding managed by the city’s administration.
One of Ramlan’s colleagues, judge Setyabudi Tejocahyono, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in the bribery case.
Setyabudi, then Bandung District Court deputy head, was accused of accepting bribes from former Bandung mayor Dada Rosada, who was then standing trial for his role in the social aid funding graft case.
Dada has been charged along with some of his subordinates and several middlemen, including Toto Hutagalung, a community leader in Bandung.
Johan declined to elaborate on the roles of Ramlan and Pasti, saying only that they were implicated in the case against Setyabudi.
Previously, the Judicial Commission reported six judges from the Bandung District Court and the West Java High Court to the KPK for alleged corruption. It remains unclear whether Ramlan and Pasti were among the reported judges.
Commission chairman Eman Suparman refused to name the rogue judges but confirmed that they were connected to Setyabudi’s case. He said Setyabudi had become a justice collaborator and had revealed the roles of other judges related to the case.
In Setyabudi’s indictment, which was read out at the Bandung Corruption Court on Dec. 17, 2013, prosecutors said Setyabudi made a promise to Dada’s confidant, Toto, that he would organize a scheme to acquit Dada and give lenient sentences to the other defendants in the case.
Setyabudi then requested Rp 3 billion in return for his assistance, as well as for his efforts to win the case at the Bandung District Court and the West Java High Court.
The indictment said that it was the head of the Bandung State Court, Singgih Budi Prakoso, who allegedly accepted $15,000 in bribes and appointed Setyabudi as the head of the panel of judges that heard the case. Other members of the panel were Ramlan and Djodjo Djauhari.
In the appellate court at the West Java High Court, the case was handled by former West Java High Court head Sareh Wiyono, who then appointed an interim head of the court, Kristi Purnamiwulan, to set up a panel to hear the case.
Sareh has been accused of accepting Rp 1.5 billion from Dada through Setyabudi. The other panel members were Pasti, Fontian Munzil and Wiwik Widjiastuti.
The indictment said that Pasti asked for Rp 1 billion, of which Rp 850 million was given to the members of the panel.
The KPK has indicted a number of judges for bribery in its efforts to clean up the nation’s notoriously corrupt judiciary.
Last year, the antigraft body arrested then Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar for allegedly accepting bribes in connection to election disputes in Lebak, Banten and Gunung Mas, Central Kalimantan.