Vento Saudale, Jakarta – Bogor District Head Ade Munawaroh Yasin was found guilty of bribing state auditors to get a favorable opinion on the local budget and sentenced to four years in prison by a district court in the West Java capital of Bandung on Friday.
Ade also has her political rights revoked for five years and is fined Rp 100 million in additional sentences.
The panel of judges presided over by Hera Kartiningsih said Ade has paid four auditors from the West Java office of the Supreme Audit Agency Rp 1.9 billion ($126,000) to get an unqualified opinion on the 2021 district budget.
Ade, who was following the hearing through a video conference, burst into tears upon hearing the verdict. Her attorneys said she will immediately lodge an appeal to the High Court.
"We will appeal for sure. I have stated since the beginning that even a sentence of one day in prison will get our challenge because the defendant is not guilty," lawyer Dinalara Butar Butar said after the hearing.
Dinalara argued that none of all 39 witnesses presented in the courtroom have mentioned Ade's involvement in the scandal.
"Those 39 witnesses and two experts didn't become a consideration at all, so we are very disappointed," the lawyer said.
Ade was arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on April 27 following the arrests of a number of district officials and auditors.
She is the second consecutive Bogor district head to be implicated in a corruption scandal.
In 2014, Ade's elder brother and predecessor Rachmat Yasin was arrested by the KPK for taking Rp 4.5 billion in bribe money from property developers in the district and was found guilty by the court and sentenced to five and a half years later that year.
Rachmat, who was supposed to lead the district for another four years, was succeeded by his deputy because of his criminal conviction until younger sister Ade won the 2018 district head election and took the district government's top post back to the family.
The brother was freed from prison in mid-2019 after several sentence cuts but it wouldn't take long until the KPK rearrested him for allegedly collecting illegal payments from the district government task force amounting to Rp 8.9 billion.
A court in Bandung found him guilty of the latest charges and sentenced him to 32 months in prison. Bogor District in the suburb of Jakarta is a different administrative area from the neighboring city of Bogor which is led by a mayor.