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Supreme Court reduces graft convict's sentence, calling car gifted to warden 'generosity'

Jakarta Post - December 9, 2020

Jakarta – The Supreme Court has reduced the sentence of graft convict Fahmi Darmawansyah in its case review decision for a bribery case involving former Sukamiskin prison warden Wahid Husein.

Originally sentenced on March 20, 2020 to three years and six months (24 months) and fined Rp 100 million (US$7,087) for bribing the prison warden with numerous luxury items, including a car, the court determined that these "gifts" were unrelated to the special treatment Fahmi received at Sukamiskin and were instead "acts of generosity".

Chief justice Salman Luthan headed the three-member judicial panel that reduced Fahmi's bribery sentence to one year and six months (18 months) in prison and modified the Rp 100 million fine to be paid in lieu of six months' imprisonment.

The two other justices on the panel were Abdul Latif and Sofyan Sitompul.

"We granted the review petition filed by the convict Fahmi Darmawansyah," reads the review decision uploaded to the Supreme Court website, kompas.com reported on Tuesday.

One of the items noted in the review petition was a Mitsubishi Triton, valued at Rp 427 million, which Fahmi claimed he gave to Wahid freely and not in exchange for perks at the prison.

The justices said that its decision was based on a statement Fahmi provided, as well as statements provided by witnesses Andri Rahmat and Wahid, the prison warden.

The judicial review found that the Triton came up during a conversation between Andri and Wahid at the warden's office in April 2018, when Wahid expressed his desire for the Mitsubishi Triton. The day after that conversation, Andri told Fahmi about the car.

"The plaintiff [Fahmi] of the review petition then agreed to give the car [to Wahid], not because of the perks that he had received, but because of his generosity," the justices said in the decision.

The Supreme Court justices also determined that the prison perks Fahmi had received were unconnected to the other gifts he presented to Wahid, including free car services, prison guest fees, a Louis Vuitton bag for Wahid's superior and a pair of Kenzo sandals worth Rp 39.5 million for Wahid's wife.

Fahmi was found guilty of bribing Wahid after he was assigned to a special prison cell.

The graft occurred while Fahmi was at Sukamiskin serving his sentence of 2 years and 8 months, handed down on May 24, 2017, for a separate corruption case pertaining to a 2017 procurement project of the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla).

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has questioned the court's decision to reduce Fahmi's sentence.

"We have to respect the justices' verdict. However, amid the public spirit for eradicating corruption in the country, the use of the word 'generosity' in the decision has instead blurred the basic definition of generosity," KPK acting spokesman Ali Fikri said on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.

Ali said that giving gifts that carried an ulterior motive to any state official in a position of considerable authority was a "despicable act".

"In the law enforcement context, that [gift] is a bribe or at the very least some type of gratification that can be charged as a crime," he said. (ami)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/12/09/supreme-court-reduces-graft-convicts-sentence-calling-car-gifted-to-warden-generosity.htm