Thu, 22 May 2003

Prosecutor sentenced for fraud

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

In another slap in the face for justice in Indonesia, a court sentenced a whistle-blowing prosecutor on Wednesday to a lenient jail term for fraud involving Rp 480 million (US$56,470).

The South Jakarta District Court jailed prosecutor Kito Irkhamni for one month and 23 days, minus the time the defendant had spent in detention during the legal proceedings, which happened to be exactly one month and 23 days.

"The defendant is guilty of fraud ... the court found the defendant is not guilty of embezzling, as also charged by the prosecutors," presiding Judge I Dewa Gde Putra Djadnya ruled.

Kito made headlines last year after he told the Public Servants' Wealth Audit Commission about the alleged undeclared wealth of Attorney General M.A. Rachman. Rachman has denied the accusations.

Soon afterwards, in what many suspect was not a coincidence, the case surfaced and Kito was charged with violating Articles 372 and 378 of the Criminal Code on embezzlement and fraud respectively. Each article carries a maximum punishment of four years in jail.

Prosecutor Zaenuddin only recommended a four-month jail term.

The case centered on a contract dated Jan. 31, 2000, between Kito and Ati Mulyati who accepted the former's offer to build her a house for Rp 390 million at the Puri Cinere housing complex in South Jakarta.

On the same day, Ati gave Kito, who is also a contractor and property developer, Rp 300 million.

Ati completed the payment on May 11, 2000, but the house was only half completed.

On Aug. 6 that year, Kito asked Ati for another Rp 120 million, but she could only give Rp 20 million at the time. During the month, Ati gave Kito Rp 160 million more -- a total of 480 million.

However, the construction of the house was not completed as of Feb. 17, 2001, which forced Ati to file a complaint with police. She later paid another contractor to finish the job.