Sat, 16 Dec 2000

Prosecutor files appeal over Pande Lubis verdict

JAKARTA (JP): Prosecutor Tarwo Hadi Sadjuri submitted on Thursday an appeal statement against a Nov. 23, 2000 court ruling which acquitted Pande Nasorahona Lubis from all graft charges in the Rp 546 billion (US$57.4 million) Bank Bali scandal, an official said on Friday.

"The South Jakarta District Court will first inform Pande's defense lawyers team about the prosecutors' appeal statement," M. Yusuf, chief clerk for criminal cases of the South Jakarta District Court, told The Jakarta Post.

He said the court would then give 14 days to Pande's lawyers to prepare their counter statement against the prosecutors' appeal statement before it forwards the prosecutors' appeal to the Supreme Court.

"However, if Pande's lawyers do not submit their counter statement within 14 days, the court will submit the prosecutors' appeal alone to the Supreme Court," Yusuf said.

Tarwo said that the Nov. 23 court ruling which acquitted Pande of all graft charges does not mean that Pande is automatically a free man.

In the 54-page appeal statement, dated Dec. 4, prosecutor Tarwo said the grounds to file the appeal were that the South Jakarta District Court judges had misinterpreted the indictment the prosecutors had made against the defendant.

"The judges should have treated the indictment against Djoko S. Tjandra (an executive of PT Era Giat Prima) differently from the one against Pande," Tarwo said in the statement.

He compared the case against Djoko and the one against Pande to a football game.

"Pande is the football player who scores a goal, while Djoko is only standing outside the football field, as the coach," Tarwo said last week.

"So the cases against Djoko and Pande cannot be generalized. That's why Pande cannot be freed from the charges," he said.

Djoko, who was also implicated in the scandal, was acquitted of all charges by the same district court last August.

The court acquitted Pande of all corruption charges because none of the legal arguments in the prosecutors' indictment could prove the defendant had violated the Anticorruption Law.

Earlier, Tarwo asked the district court to sentence Pande, a former deputy chairman of the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA), to four years in prison for his alleged role in the Bank Bali scandal.

Tarwo said Pande, 56, should be held responsible for the disbursement of Rp 904 billion of IBRA's funds to Bank Bali, which was a violation of banking procedures.

He accused Pande of violating the 1971 Corruption Law, specifically Article 1 on enriching oneself at the expense of the state. He also accused the defendant of conspiring with others to commit a crime.

Separately, Pande's lawyer Asfifuddin told the Post by phone on Friday that he had yet to receive the South Jakarta District Court's notice about the prosecutor's appeal statement.

"Once we receive the court's notice, we will immediately submit a statement to counter the prosecutor's appeal statement. No problem," he said. (01)