Judge Bribery Case Widens; Travel Bans Issued
The Corruption Eradication Commission has imposed a travel ban against two judges at the Semarang District Court in Central Java as the antigraft agency investigates the possible involvement of more judges in a bribery case that has rocked the country’s judiciary system.
The commission known as the KPK earlier arrested judges Heru Krisbandono and Kartini Magdalena Marpaung for accepting Rp 150 million ($15,700) bribes from a middleman linked to a defendant whose case is being heard at the court.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi said on Thursday that the body had imposed a travel ban against two more judges.
“The KPK requested a travel ban on Pragsono and Asmadinata, related to the investigation into the allegations of bribery involving Anti-Corruption Court judges in Semarang,” Johan said.
Before her arrest, Kartini was one of the three judges hearing a case against Grobogan district Regional Representatives Council (DPD) speaker Muhammad Yaeni, on trial for embezzlement.
Kartini reportedly received the bribe money from Yaeni’s sister, Sri Dartuti. Sri was also arrested in the KPK’s sting operation at the Semarang District Court’s parking lot on Independence Day, Aug. 17.
The other judges overseeing the case were Asmadinata and Lilik Nurain, who have not been banned from traveling.
The KPK on Thursday questioned Heru as a witness against Kartini, KPK spokesman Priharsa Nugraha said.
Heru is a judge at the Pontianak District Court and reportedly brokered a meeting between Sri and Kartini. It is not clear how Prasogno is said to be involved in the case.
KPK investigators found that the bribe money was stashed in three different envelopes, suggesting that there could be three intended recipients.
On Wednesday, KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto signaled that there would likely be more people charged for their roles in the case.
The case, he said, is on the list of priority cases to be investigated by the KPK.