Further Charges Ready for Gayus, Indonesia Prosecutors Say
Farouk Arnaz, Heru Andriyanto & Camelia Pasandaran
Jakarta. A new, third trial is being prepared against graft convict Gayus Tambunan, and this time prosecutors plan to bring back the money laundering charge that went missing during his first, graft-tainted trial in Tangerang.
The Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday confirmed a police dossier outlining corruption and money laundering charges against Gayus had been received by its special crimes division.
During the initial trial at the Tangerang District Court, the case was handled by the AGO’s general crimes division, which dropped both the corruption and money laundering charges in favor of a minor embezzlement charge, of which the former taxman was later acquitted.
Despite having suspect funds amounting to Rp 28 billion ($3.1 million) in his bank accounts, Gayus escaped conviction in March in a case that was later found to be rife with bribery. Senior prosecutor Cirus Sinaga later conceded the case should have gone to the special crimes division and not general crimes, where he was serving.
After the case became a major scandal, Gayus was tried in the South Jakarta District Court and convicted of bribing state officials, receiving a seven-year jail sentence despite prosecutors recommending 20 years.
Police officials said on Wednesday that a separate charge sheet, regarding alleged bribes paid to prison guards to allow Gayus to leave his cell and travel overseas, was passed on to the AGO, which had earlier indicated those charges might be addressed in a separate trial.
Gayus’s lawyer, Hotma Sitompul, said the country’s justice system did not recognize cumulative punishment, as the United States does, and multiple charges should be combined into one indictment.
“In this country, related crimes should go to one trial and the punishment should refer to the heaviest sentence of all of them,” he told the Jakarta Globe. “That’s why the judge in South Jakarta handed Gayus only seven years. If Gayus was given the maximum jail term of 20 years, other related crimes in future trials would go unpunished.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Boediono said he would prevent overlap from the various agencies working on the Gayus scandal. The National Police, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force and Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) have all been summoned to investigate the case.
Yopie Hidayat, Boediono’s spokesman, said a coordinating meeting would be held every two weeks, although he declined to set a timetable for when the case would be resolved.
Emerson Yuntho, deputy chairman of Indonesia Corruption Watch, said the police and AGO could no longer be involved in the investigation. “We don’t trust them anymore,” he said.
A number of officials from both the police and AGO have been been implicated, named a suspect or jailed in relation to the Gayus case.
On Wednesday, the National Police ethics board formally fired Arafat Enanie, who was sentenced to five years in prison for “multiple counts of corruption,” including receiving a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from one of Gayus’s associates.
The National Police’s former chief for economic crimes, Brig. Gen. Edmond Ilyas, and his successor, Brig. Gen. Radja Erisman, are scheduled to face the ethics tribunal in February and March, respectively.