Indonesia prosecutors seek 16 years for former speaker in graft case

29 Mar 2018 / 22:12 H.

JAKARTA: Indonesian prosecutors Thursday demanded 16 years imprisonment for former parliament speaker Setya Novanto in one of the graft-riddled country's biggest corruption cases.
The veteran politician has been indicted for allegedly taking bribes and kickbacks amounting to US$7.4 million (RM28.6 million) related to the procurement of an electronic ID system for Indonesia's more than 250 million inhabitants.
Novanto, 62, former chairman of a major political party, has also been accused of playing a key role in embezzlement from the US$440 million project which led to the loss of US$170 million from government coffers.
Lead prosecutor Abdul Basir called for the court to order Novanto to pay US$7.4 million in restitution to the state.
Prosecutors also demanded the seizure of Novanto's assets, if the man once regarded as one of Indonesia's most influential politicians fails to pay.
Several other politicians, as well as government officials and businessmen have been charged and convicted in relation to the case.
"We respect the prosecutors' demand but we do hope for (the judges') wisdom because my client has been helping investigators," said his lawyer Firman Wijaya.
The trial has been adjourned to April 13 to hear Novanto's defence plea.
Novanto, who has faced corruption allegations in the past but never been convicted, was detained on Nov 20 last year after a bizarre drama that involved a failed raid on his palatial estate and a shady car crash.
He was arrested in hospital after he claimed to have been injured in the crash.
The country's graft buster has charged Novanto's then lawyer and doctor with obstructing investigation by faking the politician's hospitalisation, which was believed to have been an attempt to dodge arrest. — AFP

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