The Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court found businesswoman and Democrat Party benefactor Siti Hartati Murdaya Poo guilty of bribery and sentenced her to two years and eight months in prison on Monday.
“The defendant Siti Hartati Murdaya is found guilty of committing corruption,” Judge Gusrizal said as he read the verdict on Monday.
Gusrizal said Hartati has been proven guilty of violating Article 5 of the Anti-Corruption Law and Article 55 of the Criminal Code. Hartati was also ordered to pay Rp 150 million.
Hartati was accused of offering Rp 3 billion ($313,000) in kickbacks to Amran Batalipu, the former head of Central Sulawesi’s Buol district.
Hartati initially claimed the money was a donation, but later said she was extorted by Amran.
The panel of judges said Hartati gave orders to her subordinates, Yani Anshori and Gondo Sudjono, to give the Buol district head Rp 3 billion in exchange for land concessions for her oil palm
plantation companies, Hardaya Inti Plantation and Cipta Cakra
Another judge, Made Hendra, said that on July 11, 2012, Hartati met with Amran at the lobby of the Grand Hyatt hotel to ask for his help in dealing with protesting employees. Hartati was also said to have asked Amran to give a recommendation to issue a land use deed, for which she agreed to pay Rp 3 billion.
Hartati told the court that she would need some time to consider whether or not she would file an appeal. It was not yet known whether prosecutors would appeal the sentence, which is shorter than the five years in jail and Rp 200 million fine they had recommended.
Prosecutors alleged that Hartati was not forthcoming about her role in the bribery case during the trail. They also criticized her for mobilizing a mob of protestors to rally outside the trial. But judges, during the sentencing, played up Hartati’s efforts to develop the local economy in Buol.
After the sentence was delivered, Hartati asked to be allowed to continue undergoing medical treatment at Medistra hospital for her illness. Last year, she failed to meet a KPK summons after suffering a seizure.
The KPK has also named Amran, Gondo and Hardaya Inti Plantation
general manager Yani Anshori as suspects in the case. Prosecutors are
seeking a 12-year prison sentence for Amran.