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Activists Appeal Lenient Sentence for Former Reclamation Developer Boss

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Presiden Direktur PT Agung Podomoro Land (APL) Ariesman Widjaja keluar mobil tahanan saat akan menjalani pemeriksaan di Gedung KPK, Jakarta, Selasa (5/4). Ariesman Widjaja diperiksa KPK terkait suap Raperda tentang Rencana Zonasi Wilayah Pesisir dan Pulau-pulau Kecil Provinsi DKI Jakarta 2015-2035 dan Raperda tentang Rencana Kawasan Tata Ruang Kawasan Strategis Pantai Jakarta Utara. ANTARA FOTO/M Agung Rajasa/kye/16
Presiden Direktur PT Agung Podomoro Land (APL) Ariesman Widjaja keluar mobil tahanan saat akan menjalani pemeriksaan di Gedung KPK, Jakarta, Selasa (5/4). Ariesman Widjaja diperiksa KPK terkait suap Raperda tentang Rencana Zonasi Wilayah Pesisir dan Pulau-pulau Kecil Provinsi DKI Jakarta 2015-2035 dan Raperda tentang Rencana Kawasan Tata Ruang Kawasan Strategis Pantai Jakarta Utara. ANTARA FOTO/M Agung Rajasa/kye/16

Jakarta. Activists have demanded that anti-graft prosecutors appeal a sentence they deemed too lenient for an influential businessman who has committed what many have called a “grand corruption.”

A panel of judges at the Jakarta Corruption Court has sentenced Ariesman Widjaja, the former president director of major property developer Agung Podomoro Land, to three years in prison and fined him Rp 200 million ($15,100) on Thursday (01/09).

The court found the businessman guilty of giving Rp 2 billion in bribes to Mohammad Sanusi, then chairman of a commission at the Jakarta Council.

The bribe was reportedly given to influence the outcome of a deliberation on draft bylaws for the reclamation project off the northern coast of the capital. Agung Podomoro was involved in the project.

Thursday’s sentence was lower than the four-year prison term sought by antigraft prosecutors. The maximum sentence stipulated in the law on corruption eradication for such crime is five years in prison.

“The sentence is too lenient for a person who led one of the biggest corporations in this country,” Tigor Hutapea of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) told reporters on Friday.

“He should have understood how to run his business fairly.”

Citing what the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has called a grand corruption, Tigor said: “The bribe was paid to influence a deliberation of regulations which are themselves problematic.”

The draft bylaws for the reclamation project are those on the zoning of coastal areas and islets, as well as on the spatial planning of the coast of North Jakarta. Their deliberation has been temporarily suspended by city councilors.

“The bylaws are legally flawed as they were aimed at legalizing the problematic reclamation project,” Tigor said. “Its permits were issued without having the required regulations in place beforehand.”

The project involves the development of 17 artificial islands, one of whose construction has permanently been halted by the central government.

Development in 14 other islands has also been temporarily halted. Construction will proceed in only two artificial islands.

“These are what the judges should have considered before imposing their sentence,” Martin Hadiwinata of the Coalition of Indonesian Traditional Fishermen (KNTI) said.

“This project has been a disaster for fishermen in North Jakarta.”

Government officials said parts of the project had caused environmental degradation, interruptions of shipping activities and damaged electrical cables and gas pipelines.

“This is the first graft case that involves a reclamation project in this country,” Edo Rakhman of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said. “We demand the KPK press ahead with their investigation on this case and name more suspects.”

Ariesman turned himself in to the KPK in early April shortly after Trinanda Prihantoro, his former personal assistant, and Sanusi were arrested in sting operations in West and South Jakarta.

The court sentenced Trinanda to two and a half years in prison and fined him Rp 150 million, while the trial against Sanusi is still ongoing.

Source: http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/activists-appeal-lenient-sentence-former-reclamation-developer-boss/

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