Gayus Tambunan got an adjustment to his prison sentence on Thursday, but not the one he was looking for.
After appealing for a reduction to his 28 year sentence for multiple graft charges to the Jakarta High Court, Gayus was handed an additional two years. This brings the former tax official’s total sentence to 30 years in one of Indonesia’s highest-profile corruption cases.
Several judges, presiding under judge Yusram Thawab, decided to add to Gayus’ jail term because of what they said was the severity of his theft from government coffers. The court said Gayus was trying to get rich by taking money designated to improve people’s welfare.
“The Jakarta High Court agreed with the South Jakarta district court that [Gayus] was corrupt and committed several connected crimes [including] money laundering,” Ahmad Sobari, one of the judges, said in a press release received by the Jakarta Globe on Thursday.
“He also did it repeatedly,” Ahmad said, adding that he hopes Gayus’ harsh and expanding sentence will prevent other civil servants from plundering state funds — effectively making an example out of the former tax official.
After the March 2012 verdict was read on his fourth straight conviction, Gayus’ lawyer Gloria Tamba said they would file an appeal because they considered the ruling too harsh, and that the Anti-Corruption Court’s verdict was not “in line with the facts and evidences provided during court sessions.”
“No witness testimony or evidence from the tax court or tax office can be used to charge our client,” Gloria said. “No witnesses or evidence can prove any wrongdoing alleged to our client.”
Gayus was convicted of receiving Rp 925 million ($102,000) in gratuities from Roberto Santonius, a tax consultant for retailer Metropolitan Retailmart. Santonius was convicted in the same case earlier. Gayus was also found guilty of receiving bribes from a number of his clients while serving at the tax office, totaling $659,000 and 9 million Singaporean dollars.
He was also convicted of bribing the warden at the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) detention center in Depok in exchange for being allowed out on several occasions.