Friday, July 19, 2024

Indonesian former minister jailed for 10 years over graft

Indonesian former minister jailed for 10 years over graft
July 11, 2024 Web Desk

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) - Indonesia's former agriculture minister was jailed for 10 years on Thursday after he was found guilty of misappropriating more than US$900,000 of public funds.

Syahrul Yasin Limpo was found guilty by a Jakarta court of ordering officials in his ministry to send him money from state coffers, some of which was used for his personal expenses. "The defendant ... was legally and convincingly proven according to the law to be guilty of committing a criminal act of corruption," said presiding judge Rianto Adam Pontoh. Judges found he had spent more than US$900,000 on personal expenses, including jewellery and beauty treatments for his wife.

Syahrul, who like many in Indonesia goes by his first name, was ordered to repay the funds or have his assets seized by the court. The judges also ordered the 69-year-old to pay a US$19,000 fine or face four months of additional jail time. 

Prosecutors had sought a 12-year sentence and US$31,000 fine. The court on Thursday also handed down four-year prison sentences to two former high-ranking officials from the agriculture ministry in connection with Syahrul's case.

The defendants have seven days to launch an appeal. Indonesia has arrested scores of public officials for graft in recent years. In November, a former Indonesian communications minister was jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of corruption in a case that cost the country more than $500 million in losses.

In 2021, a former social affairs minister was jailed for 12 years after being convicted of taking US$1.2 million in bribes linked to food aid for poor families hit by the coronavirus pandemic.