Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Regent given 11.5 years in jail for forestry graft

Regent given 11.5 years in jail for forestry graft

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Tue, 09/16/2008

The Corruption Court on Tuesday sentenced non-active Pelalawan regent Tengku Azmun Jaafar to 11 years and six months in prison for issuing illegal authorization for forest resource use.

The panel of judges said the defendant was guilty of issuing authorization letters to 15 companies for the use of more than 120,000 hectares of forest in the regency between 2002 and 2003.According to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the exploitation of the forest resources by the companies caused more than Rp 1.2 trillion (US$128 million) in losses to the state.

The judges, led by Kresna Menon, also told the defendant to pay a Rp 500 billion fine or serve six months additional time in jail and to pay Rp 12.3 billion in restitution to the state.Previously, the KPK prosecutors demanded a 12-year prison sentence for Azmun.

Azmun's lawyer Hieronimus Dani, said the defendant, who considered the verdict was not fair, had not decided whether to appeal against the verdict."We are disappointed with the decision.

The judges overlooked the fact that authorization letter was no use without sanctions from the governor and the provincial forestry agency," he said. (dre)