Apriadi Gunawan, Medan, North Sumatra – The Medan Corruption Court in North Sumatra has sentenced nonactive Pakpak Bharat regent Remigo Yolanda Berutu to seven years in prison for having accepted Rp 1.2 billion (US$85,644) in bribes from a private contractor involved in a state infrastructure project.
The sentence was lighter than the eight-year prison term demanded by the prosecutors. Remigo's spouse and relatives who attended the hearing reacted emotionally to the sentence, deeming it unjust.
Additionally, the court also slapped a Rp 650 million fine on Remigo, or an additional four months in prison should he fail to pay the fine. Furthermore, the suspended regent's political rights – including the right to be elected into office – would be rendered void during the seven-year prison term.
Presiding Judge Abdul Aziz found Remigo guilty of collectively accepting bribes, charging him under Article 12 of Law No. 31/1999 on corruption.
"I hereby sentence the defendant to seven years in prison and a Rp 650 million fine, or an additional four months in prison should he fail to pay the fine," Abdul said in court.
Regarding the lighter sentence, Muhammad Azis from the Medan Prosecutor's Office said it was up to the court.
"We're still considering the court's sentence. However, we do believe that the court has fully accommodated the prosecutor's demands," he told the press after the hearing.
Remigo was arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission in Medan last November for allegedly accepting Rp 1.5 billion in bribes from a contractor involved in a project with the Pakpak Bharat Public Works Agency. (rfa/bbn)