Court upholds Urip’s 20-year jail term for corruption

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by former prosecutor Urip Tri Gunawan against his conviction and upheld the 20-year jail sentence handed down by the High Corruption Court.

The lower Corruption Court had already sentenced Urip to 20 years’ imprisonment and fined him Rp 500 million (US$40,000) last year for accepting a cash bribe of US$660,000 from  businesswoman Artalyta Suryani, who paid Urip to put an end to investigations into a huge loan scandal.

The Bank Indonesia liquidity support (BLBI) graft scandal implicated business tycoon Sjamsul Nursalim, a close relative of Artalyta.

Urip could have an additional eight months jail added onto his sentence should he fail to pay
the fine.

“We found no legal flaws in the previous sentence,” Supreme Court justice Artidjo Alkostar told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday, adding that the judges came up with the decision mutually.

Artidjo, who presided over Urip’s trial, said that in their appeal the accused and his lawyers questioned the article in the anticorruption law under which he was charged.

Urip questioned why prosecutors did not charge him with violating Article 5 on gratuity instead of Article 12(b) on bribery.

This article carries a maximum sentence of up to a lifetime imprisonment, while Article 5 threatens a graft suspect with a maximum penalty of up to five-years in jail.

Artidjo said Article 5 was only applied when a suspect was thought to have taken a bribe passively, while judges regarded Urip as having been completely aware of his

“The defendant communicated with Artalyta several times and it has also been shown he protected Sjamsul Nursalim during the BLBI investigation process several times,” Artidjo said.

Urip led a team at the Attorney General’s Office investigating the embezzlement of Rp 28.4 trillion distributed under the BLBI scheme to Sjamsul, former owner of the liquidated Bank Dagang Nasional Indonesia (BDNI).

On Feb. 29, 2008, the AGO dropped two BLBI cases against Sjamsul and another tycoon Anthony Salim, citing a lack of legal evidence.

Two days later, the KPK arrested Urip for taking $660,000 from Artalyta as a “gift” for his service in providing information and helping Sjamsul evade three BLBI summonses by the AGO.

Artalyta  was sentenced to five years in jail last year, a maximum sentence for her crime.
Urip was further convicted of extorting Rp 1 billion from former Indonesian Banking Restructuring Agency chief Glenn Yusuf through his lawyer Reno Iskandarsyah.

Asked about the Supreme Court verdict, Urip’s lawyer Albab Setiawan said he had not yet received a copy of the ruling.

“We have not yet decided whether to file a case review or not.

To file a review we must first be aware of a few factors, so we will have to wait and see what the Supreme Court take into consideration when handing down their verdict,” he said.

The Urip bribery scandal has further tarnished the AGO’s already-tainted image and strengthened its reputation for failing to implement reform.

The case implicated several of Urip’s bosses, including Yahya Rahman and Muhammad Salim, but they remain free at this time.

Irawaty Wardany ,  THE JAKARTA POST ,  JAKARTA   |  Thu, 03/12/2009 9:11 AM  |  Headlines

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