Crime & Justice

Former Indonesian minister handed 12-year prison term for corruption

Jakarta, Aug 23 (EFE).- Indonesia’s former social affairs minister Juliari P Batubara was on Monday sentenced to 12 years in prison on a bribery charge linked to aid for Covid-19 victims in the country.

Batubara, who was arrested in December 2020 while serving as minister, was also handed a fine worth 500 million rupiahs ($34,600) and barred from politics for four years after being released according to the sentence, which was aired live.

The politician surrendered to the police on Dec. 6, 2020 after being accused of having accepted bribes worth 32 billion rupiahs in relation to the bidding process for distribution of Covid aid.

Indonesia is one of the countries worst-affected by the pandemic worldwide, having registered more than 3.9 million infections among a population of 270 million, while over 126,000 people have been killed by the disease so far.

Political corruption has been a persistent problem in the Southeast Asian nation, which has led to the downfall of a series of ministers.

On Jul. 13, former maritime affairs and fishing minister Edhy Prabowo was sentenced to a five-year prison term for accepting 25,7 billion rupiahs from a businessmen who exported lobster larvae.

In 2019, another ex-minister of social affairs Idrus Marham was handed a three-year prison term on multiple corruption charges, while the sports minister at the time, Imam Nahrawi, resigned after being investigated for receiving millions in bribes.

Indonesia, the world’s seventh largest economy in terms of GDP adjusted to purchasing power parity, was ranked 102 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2020, having fallen 17 places compared to the previous year. EFE


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