Jero Wacik, Indonesia's former Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (2011-2014) and Minister of Culture and Tourism (2004-2011), could face nine years in prison, a fine of IDR 350 million and may have to pay compensation up to IDR 18.8 billion to the government. These are the demands expressed by prosecutor Dody Sukmono at the Jakarta Corruption Court (Tipikor) on Thursday (21/01). Wacik is being accused of mishandling ministerial funds and extortion by the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
The prosecution estimates that Wacik took IDR 18.8 billion (approx. USD $1.3 million) from ministerial funds when he led the Energy and Tourism ministries. Allegedly, he used these funds for private purposes. According to the prosecution these allegations are supported by statements made by Wacik's former workers at the Culture and Tourism Ministry. These workers were requested to include fictitious expenses in their reports to the financial department of the Ministry to conceal lost funds.
The prosecution also believes that Wacik engaged in extortion when heading the Energy Ministry (between 2011 and 2014) by forcing Waryono Karno, Secretary General at the Energy Ministry, to inject new funds into the Energy Ministry budget to cover up for a deficit. In September 2014 Waryono Karno was arrested after USD $200,000 in cash had been found in his office. Media reported in late 2014 that this cash could be related to a bribery case involving Singapore-based Kernel Oil Pte Ltd, a case that led to the seven-year prison sentence for Rudi Rubiandini, former Head of Indonesia's upstream oil & gas regulator SKK Migas. Bribes were accepted in exchange for a lucrative oil contract.
Thirdly, Wacik is being accused of gratification when Herman Afif Kusumo, Commissioner of Trinergy Mandiri International, paid a costly birthday party for Wacik in Hotel Dharmawangsa (Jakarta). This is a violation of the country's corruption law.
Political corruption has been a notorious problem in Indonesia and seriously undermines people's confidence in the nation's politics and political leaders. In the latest Corruption Perceptions Index Indonesia occupied the 107th place (out of a total of 175 countries), implying a high degree of perceived corruption.