Saturday, 12 July 2008

Forest bribery trial begins

Forest bribery trial begins

Source: The Jakarta Post - July 1, 2008 JAKARTA

Azirwan, the suspended Bintan regency (Riau Islands) administration secretary, stood trial Monday in a bribery case connected to a forest conversion permit.

Corruption Eradication Commission prosecutors indicted Azirwan for paying lawmaker Al Amin Nasution of the United Development Party bribes of more than Rp 3 billion (US$327,000).

Amin, a member of the House of Representatives' Commission IV on forestry, agriculture and fisheries, is being detained on the same charges.

Azirwan denied the allegation and told the Corruption Court that Amin had demanded payment from him for the commission to approve the forest conversion plan."I had to follow along and pay him because it was important for Bintan to convert part of the forest into the planned capital city of the regency," said Azirwan, who is facing a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Presiding judge Mansyurdin Chaniago adjourned the trial until next Monday to hear witness testimonies. -- JP