Case Against C. Tapanuli District Head to Continue
Jakarta. The Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court on Monday rejected the defense of the district head of North Sumatra’s Central Tapanuli, who stands accused of having bribed former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar but who claims prosecutors are only out for revenge.
“The defense cannot be accepted and the indictment that the prosecutors submitted still stands,” presiding judge Muchammad Muchlis said from the bench on Monday.
Previously, Bonaran Situmeang, the suspended Central Tapanuli district head, claimed that the indictment against him was unjust, accusing prosecutors of being engaged in a personal vendetta.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named Bonaran a graft suspect in August for allegedly paying Akil Rp 1.8 billion ($135,000) through a middleman for a ruling that favored Bonaran’s client, who had been fighting in a local election dispute case.
Bonaran, a lawyer, became a source of controversy years ago when he was representing businessman Anggoro Widjojo in the Integrated Radio Communication System (SKRT) graft case at the Forestry Ministry.
Bonaran, along with Anggoro’s brother, Anggodo Widjojo, was accused at the time of trying to obstruct the KPK’s investigation.
But despite the scandal, Bonaran managed to win the election in Central Tapanuli in 2011. His rival, Dina Riana Samosir, and her running mate, Hikmal Batubara, challenged the result at the Constitutional Court, citing Bonaran’s role in helping Anggoro leave the country. However, the court decided not to revoke Bonaran’s right to be elected district head.
Disgraced chief justice Akil has been sentenced to life in prison for taking bribes. Anggoro was sentenced to five years in prison last year after being arrested in China.
Bonaran’s trial will continue on Thursday, as scheduled.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe