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Disgraced Banten governor's younger brother convicted of corruption

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Jakarta Corruption Court has sentenced Tubagus "Wawan" Chaeri Wardana, the younger brother of former Banten governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah, to four years in prison for accepting bribes related to several state projects in the province.

The court also fined Wawan Rp 200 million (US$13,679) and will collect Rp 58 billion in restitution.

The defendant was found guilty of violating Article 3 and 18 of the 2001 Anticorruption Law, which prohibit individual acts of self-gain that cause state losses.

However, the judges did not find the defendant guilty of two money-laundering offenses he was facing. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) had accused him of laundering about Rp 1.9 trillion, which he had allegedly obtained from illicit activities.

The sentence Wawan received was lighter than the six years of prison sought by the prosecutors.

Both Wawan's lawyer and the prosecution told the court they would consider appealing the sentence.

KPK prosecutors indicted Wawan for accepting Rp 58 billion in bribes pertaining to health equipment procurement for hospitals in Banten and community health centers (Puskesmas) in Tangerang in the 2012 fiscal year. The bribes were found to have caused Rp 94.31 billion in state losses.

Atut, who served as the governor of Banten from 2007 to 2014, allegedly received Rp 3.8 billion as a result of the illicit practices. The corruption court sentenced her to five years in prison in 2017 after she was previously sentenced to seven years behind bars for bribing then-Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar to address an election dispute in Banten in 2013.

KPK acting spokesperson Ali Fikri said that while he respected the verdict, he was confident about the prosecution's case for Wawan's alleged money laundering.

"[Prosecutors] will study the judges' considerations on the verdict for the next seven days before deciding to take any legal steps," Ali said in a statement on Friday.

The Thursday conviction was the third for Wawan. In 2014, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for his involvement in bribery pertaining to a regional election dispute in Lebak regency. Two years later, the judges gave him an additional year of prison in a separate corruption case pertaining to health equipment procurement in Banten.

He is also on trial for allegedly bribing Wahid Husen, the former head of Sukamiskin Penitentiary in Bandung, West Java, in exchange for luxurious facilities for graft convicts in the prison.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/07/17/disgraced-banten-governors-younger-brother-convicted-of-corruption.html