Indonesia Judge ‘Backs Death Penalty for Corruption’

By webadmin on 09:11 pm Oct 17, 2010
Category Archive

Surabaya. Indonesia should take a leaf out of China’s book and
introduce the death penalty for corruption, Constitutional Court chief
Mahfud MD said over the weekend.

“The death penalty is possible if there’s danger. China has been implementing it and the people are satisfied,” he said.

Mahfud,
who has long supported the death penalty for graft, was speaking on
Saturday at Dr Soetomo University in Surabaya, just days after
disgraced former diplomat Sjahril Djohan was jailed for just 18 months
for channeling bribes to a National Police general.

“The
highest sentence handed down is 20 years,” Mahfud said. “It was
received by a former prosecutor named Urip. Others have received just
one to four years.”

He was referring to senior prosecutor Urip
Tri Gunawan, who was caught taking $660,000 from businesswoman Artalyta
Suryani and sentenced in 2008.

Mahfud said the death penalty would be an effective deterrent.

He said rejection of the death penalty on human rights grounds was just one way of looking at it.

“The
fact is that it has gone down well in China and has never been
protested by her people. In China it has reduced corruption cases,”
Mahfud said.

The debate over the use of the death penalty to
fight corruption last ignited in April at the height of the Bank
Century controversy.

The amended 1999 Anti-Corruption Law
introduced capital punishment for corruption committed under special
circumstances, including during an economic or monetary crisis, an
emergency, a national disaster or in the aftermath of rioting on a
national scale.

Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis
Akbar has said that no corruption case had been proven to have taken
place when the state was in crisis. But Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)
lawmaker Andi Rachmat had said the main instigators of the Bank Century
bailout could face capital punishment because it had come at the height
of the economic crisis, in November 2008.

The bank was rescued
on orders from Vice President Boediono, then central bank governor, and
then Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who said the bailout was
necessary to prevent a systemic threat to the banking system.

Of about 100 inmates on death row, all were convicted of murder, drug trafficking or terrorism.

Transparency International ranked Indonesia 111 out of 180 countries in a corruption survey last year.

President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a liberal ex-general who first came to power
in 2004, was re-elected last year on a pledge to root out corruption,
which permeates every sector of public life, from the courts to the
customs office.

The International Monetary Fund said last
month that Indonesia must make fighting corruption a top priority if it
wants to build on its progress as one of the world’s best-performing
economies.


Antara, AFP, JG