News Focus

Medan Corruption Court judge receives 9 years jail

Medan Corruption Court judge receives 9 years jail

The judges were paid 150 thousand Singapore dollars as bribes to receive a verdict in favor of PT Erni Putra Terari's Managing Director Sukardi accused in a corruption case
The Medan Court Judge for Corruption (in North Sumatra province), Merry Purba, was sentenced to nine years in prison, plus a fine of Rp350 million, or another three months in prison, for accepting a bribe from a businessman.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) had proved that Purba had accepted 150 thousand Singapore dollars (approximately Rp1.56 billion) from businessman Tamin Sukardi, paid through a courtesy clerk.

"Defendant Merry Purba was proven legally and convincingly guilty of committing a criminal act of corruption jointly. A sentence was imposed against the defendant in the form of a prison sentence of nine years and a fine of Rp350 million or three months in prison," a prosecutor of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Haerudin, said at the Jakarta Corruption Court (Tipikor) on Thursday.

The judgment is based on the first alternative indictment of article 12 letter c of Law Number 31 of 1999 concerning the Eradication of Corruption Crimes as amended by Act Number 20 of 2001 in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph (1) of the first Criminal Code concerning judges who accept promises or gift.

The KPK prosecutor also demanded payment of substitute money from Purba, which amounted to the bribe she received.

"Imposing a payment of 150 thousand Singapore dollars no later than one month after the verdict has permanent legal force. If at that time it is not paid, the defendant's assets will be confiscated and auctioned to cover the replacement money. At the event, the defendant does not have enough assets to pay substitute money, the defendant will be sentenced to jail for seven months," the prosecutor said.

"There are things that are burdensome, but the actions of the defendant reduce the authority of the judiciary and reduce public confidence in law enforcement and court institutions. The defendant did not fulfill the judge's obligations properly and fairly in prosecuting cases by not trying to prevent the substitute clerks or other parties. The defendant did not acknowledge frankly and did not regret the actions he committed," prosecutor Haerudin added.

The judges were paid 150 thousand Singapore dollars as bribes to receive a verdict in favor of PT Erni Putra Terari's Managing Director Sukardi accused in a corruption case number: 33 / Pid.Sus-TPK / 2018 / PN. Mdn regarding the transfer of state / PTPN II land to the parties another 106 hectares of former PTPN II Tanjung Morawa Cultivation Right (HGU) in Pasa IV Helvetia Village, Deli Serdang on behalf of Sukardi.

Medan District Chairperson Marsudin Nainggolan appointed Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo as the presiding judge, Sontan Merauke Sinaga as member I and Merry Purba judge as Ad Hoc II member judge, and Helpandi as a replacement clerk. Wahyu then issued a detention warrant for Sukardi at the Tanjung Gusta prison in Medan for 30 days from April 10, 2018.

Sukardi submitted a request a transfer from jail for house arrest on medical grounds on July 9, 2018. When Helpandi submitted a draft transfer of Sukardi’s status, each judge asked, "Why is it only a signature?"

On several occasions, Merry Purba, Sontan Merauke, and Wahyu Prasetyo raised queries on the signatures for the determination of Sukardi's medical permit. Questions such as "How come this is like this?", "Are we just working?" and "just sign this?" were raised by the judges. These questions were understood by Helpandi as a request for money or goods.

The administrative staff member of Sukardi’s company, Sudarni Samosir then reported the results of the meeting between Helpandi and Sukardi and also requested that he should be allowed to communicate with the panel of judges so that they would not be disappointed and the verdict on August 27, 2018 would be in their favor.

Helpandi then asked for Rp3 billion kept for three judges and Sukardi agreed. He then contacted his colleague Hadi Setiawan who was committed to helping. Sukardi gave 280 thousand Singapore dollars in an envelope to Hadi to be handed over to the panel of judges.

On August 24, 2018, Helpandi met with Purba in the work hall and said that Tamin had requested for a favorable verdict and there would be money from Sukardi if that could be arranged.

The money for Purba was handed over on August 25, 2018 at the Honda cars showroom on Jalan Adam Malik. Helpandi then gave 150 thousand Singapore dollars to a person who drove a Toyota Rush car owned by Purba, while Sontan's money was handed over on August 27, 2018.

On August 27, 2018, the panel of judges ruled that Sukardi was guilty and was sentenced to six years in jail, with a fine of Rp500 million, subsidiary six months imprisonment and an obligation to pay substitute money of Rp132,468 billion, while judge Purba gave a "dissenting opinion". In other words, the indictment was not proven by the existence of a permanent legal decision.

On August 28, 2018 the KPK officers arrested Helpandi, Tamin Sukardi, and Purba, and on September 4, 2018, Setiawan surrendered to KPK officers at the Suncity Hotel in Surabaya.

Purba said he would make a personal defense note. "I will plead my own case," Purba said, crying.

The decision will be read on May 16, 2019.

Sukardi was sentenced to six years in prison plus a fine of Rp300 million, subsidiary three months in prison. Setiawan was sentenced to four years in prison plus a fine of Rp200 million, or three months in prison. Helpandi was sentenced to seven years in prison plus a fine of Rp300 million, or three months in prison.