Corruption in Indonesia: Constitutional Court Chief Akil Mochtar Found Guilty
Late on Monday evening (30/06), Indonesia’s Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court sentenced former Chief Justice of the country's Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) Akil Mochtar to life imprisonment as he was found guilty of corruption as well as money laundering. Mochtar was arrested in October 2013 by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) after investigators had been tapping his telephone. This corruption case is another blow for the reputation of Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Akil Mochtar, who was Chief Justice of Indonesia’s Constitutional Court between 2010 and 2013, has been found guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for a favourable rulings in regional election disputes. For example in the Gunung Mas election dispute in Central Kalimantan where, in the regional election, Hambit Bintih and Arton S. Dohong were re-elected as district heads of Gunung Mas. After there had been found signs that this election outcome had been influenced by fraud, the case came in the Constitutional Court, presided by Akil Mochtar, who accepted money to rule in Bintih's favour.
Another case involving Akil Mochtar was an election dispute court ruling in Lebak (Banten, Java). In this case Mochtar was bribed by businessman Tubagus Chaeri Wardana (husband of South Tangerang Mayor Airin Rachmy Diany and brother of highly corrupted Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosyiah) in exchange for a favourable ruling.
Mochtar has been given a harsh sentence (life time imprisonment) due to the sensitivity of the case being the chief justice of the country’s Constitutional Court. His case seriously undermines people’s perception of law enforcement in Indonesia.
Indonesia is characterized by widespread political corruption, particularly in the current era of decentralization (after the fall of the authoritarian Suharto regime) when extensive power had been delegated to the regions, giving rise to powerful and corrupt local oligarchic structures (consisting of local political leaders and business players).
Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng Case
On Monday (30/06), the KPK also announced that it seeks a ten-year prison sentence as well as a IDR 300 million fine for former Youth and Sports Minister (and former Democratic Party politician) Andi Mallarangeng. The former minister allegedly accepted bribes in connection with the construction of the Hambalang sports complex in Bogor (West Java).
Andi Mallarangeng is accused of enriching himself and corporations by manipulating the procurement and budgeting process of the Hambalang sports complex (constructed in the context of the 2011 SEA Games) and accepting bribes worth of IDR 4 billion and USD $500,000.
Indonesia’s Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) estimated that the Hambalang case caused IDR 463.66 billion in state losses.