Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Illegal logging must be treated as corruption

This is the same Minister who last year helped Indonesia's most notorious illegal logger walk free from court.

Illegal logging must be treated as corruption

Source: Antara News - June 5, 2008Jakarta

Forestry Minister MS Kaban said judicial officials should treat illegal logging as corruption case because the practice causes losses to the state.

"I hope illegal logging will be classified as corruption because it causes losses to the state. So far, judges always link illegal logging to technical and administrative matters.

This is not right because illegal logging causes losses to the state," the minister said on the sidelines of a function to observe National Environment Day at the State Palace here on Thursday.

He said trees in state forests were all state assets so that if they were stolen the state would suffer losses. That`s why such a case should be handled like a criminal corruption case.

"Judges should change their perception by linking illegal logging with state losses," the minister added.

Besides illegal logging, the confiscation of such logs must also be supervised with a corruption criminal approach because the auction of confiscated logs often did not meet the target set by the government."I agree with the idea of the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) that there were potential state losses if logs are auctioned with proceeds different from the target set by the government," the minister said.(*)