Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Former Riau governor and graft convict Annas Maamun has been discharged from the Sukamiskin penitentiary in Bandung, West Java, following clemency granted by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo last year.
"Annas Maamun was released on Sept. 21, 2020," Law and Human Rights Ministry Corrections Directorate General spokesperson Rika Aprianti said Tuesday.
The government issued the clemency for Annas – who served as governor in 2014 – in October last year, reducing his sentence to six years of imprisonment from the initial seven years. With the clemency, he was eligible for parole in 2020, with an unconditional release in 2021.
Annas had been convicted of accepting more than Rp 1.5 billion (US$101,376) in bribes in a forest conversion case that caused Rp 5 billion in state losses. The Bandung Corruption Court sentenced him to six years of imprisonment in 2015. The Supreme Court increased his punishment to seven years in 2018 following a failed appeal.
Jokowi cited humanitarian reasons for granting the clemency as Annas, now 80 years old, said in his plea that he was old and sick with declining health. Along with his plea, Annas also provided a statement from a doctor saying that the convict was suffering from several chronic illnesses and depression.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) back in 2019 expressed its surprise over the clemency granted, given that corruption in the forestry sector greatly affected the forests, the environment and the public interest.
Antigraft activists lambasted the decision. Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) said Jokowi had hurt the public sense of justice with the clemency, which was "one of many setbacks" in graft eradication efforts under his administration.
The other setbacks, according to ICW, are the revision of the KPK Law, a refusal to issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to overturn that same law, and appointing controversial leaders to the KPK.