Jakarta Court Orders Unfreezing of Hartati’s Bank Accounts
The Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court on Thursday ordered prosecutors to unfreeze the bank accounts of graft defendant and businesswoman Siti Hartati Murdaya on the basis that the freeze was irrelevant to the bribery charges she faces.
Hartati, a renowned financier of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is standing trial for allegedly bribing the head of the Central Sulawesi district of Buol, Amran Batalipu, with Rp 3 billion ($312,000) for the right to establish a 4,500-hectare palm oil plantation there.
Two executives of her plantation company Hardaya Inti Plantation were jailed earlier this year for their roles in the case.
Hartati objected to prosecutors’ freezing of her bank accounts at a court hearing last week, saying the sanction had nothing to do with the case, and on Thursday judges concurred.
“The freezing of the defendant’s bank accounts has nothing to do [with the case] because [funds] in those accounts have not allegedly come from corruption,” chief judge Gusrizal told the hearing on Thursday, according to Indonesian news portal antaranews.com.
“According to the defendant … the accounts are being used for the construction of a hospital and to support other social activities,” he added.
The judges ordered Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors to unfreeze the accounts, which include those at Bank BNI, Danamon, CIMB Niaga and ICBC Indonesia.