Angelina Faces 20 Years in Jail as Bribery Trial Begins
Democratic Party lawmaker Angelina Sondakh faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for allegedly accepting $3.6 million in bribes, according to the indictment read by prosecutors during the opening day of her trial.
“What the defendant did by receiving money from [graft convict Muhammad Nazaruddin’s] Permai Group is against … the 1999 Law on Corruption Eradication,” Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutor Agus Salim said in opening remarks before the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court on Thursday.
The indictment listed Angelina as being in violation of several articles of the law and subject to a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and Rp 1 billion ($104,000) in fines.
Angelina allegedly participated in a bid-rigging scheme to ensure that the construction contracts for the Southeast Asian Games athletes’ village were awarded to Permai Group, a company owned by Nazaruddin that has been implicated in numerous corruption cases.
The company reportedly paid cash in several installments to the suspended lawmaker and her associates. The bribes also allegedly covered a separate project to purchase laboratory equipment for 16 state universities overseen by the Ministry of Education.
“The defendant [in total] received Rp 12.5 billion and $2.3 million as a fee because she was the head of the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs programs,” Agus said.
The defendant’s lawyer plans to file an objection to the indictment.
“There are so many typos in the indictment document and in general it is vague, so we [will] request an exception,” Teuku Nasrullah said.
Angelina left the South Jakarta courthouse in tears.
“I’ve heard the indictment, the rest I will give up to God,” she said.
Separately, M. Prakosa, chief of the House of Representatives Ethics Council, said the body would hold a hearing to immediately suspended Angelina from the House.
“After the first hearing, her status has become a defendant. Under the law, we can now begin the process of suspending her. We are just waiting for approval from other council members,” he said.
Prakosa, a politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said the letter to officially suspend Angelina would be issued in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng said he was ready to testify as a witness in Angelina’s case.
“I will be ready any time they summon me,” said Andi, who is also a Democratic Party official.
Andi has been accused of also having received kickbacks in the case. He has been summoned by the KPK as a witness in the case and has repeatedly denied any involvement in the scandal.
Besides Andi, several other lawmakers and politicians have been allegedly connected to the sprawling graft case.
Those accused include I Wayan Koster, a House Budget Committee member from the PDI-P, Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum and House Budget Committee deputy chairman Mirwan Amir, who is also from the Democratic Party.
All of them have denied any wrongdoing.