Jakarta High Court Rejects Hartati Appeal

The Jakarta High Court on Thursday upheld a previous ruling issued by the Anti-Corruption Court that convicted Siti Hartati Murdaya Poo of bribery, striking down her appeal of the 2.5 year sentence.

Ahmad Sobari, a spokesman for the Jakarta High Court, said on Thursday that the court decided to uphold the verdict because no new evidence was presented by the prosecution.

“In the appeal, there were no new legal facts [presented], just repetitions,” he said.

Ahmad said that he and the panel of judges believed that the Anti-Corruption Court made the right decision by ordering Hartati to serve 32 months in jail and pay Rp 150 million ($15,450) in fines.

Hartati was proven guilty of offering Rp 3 billion in kickbacks to Amran Batalipu, the former head of Central Sulawesi’s Buol district.

Hartati initially claimed the money was a donation, but later said she was extorted by Amran.

The panel of judges said Hartati gave orders to her subordinates, Yani Anshori and Gondo Sudjono, to give the Buol district head Rp 3 billion in exchange for land concessions for her oil palm plantation companies, Hardaya Inti Plantation and Cipta Cakra Murdaya.

Prosecutors alleged that Hartati was not forthcoming about her role in the bribery case during the trail. They also criticized her for mobilizing a mob of protestors to rally outside the trial. But judges, during the sentencing, played up Hartati’s efforts to develop the local economy in Buol.

The court also sentenced Amran to seven-and-a-half years in jail for taking bribes from Hartati

Amran was also ordered to pay Rp 300 million in fines, or serve an extra six months in jail. The judges, however, did not require him to return the Rp 3 billion received from Hartati via her subordinates.

Source: Jakarta Globe