Court Jails Senior Central Bank Officials for Graft

JAKARTA ~ A Jakarta court sentenced two former senior central bank officials to four years in jail on Wednesday in a corruption case linked to a relative of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The feared anti-corruption court found Oey Hoey Tiong and Rusli Simanjuntak guilty by of embezzling Rp100 billion (US$9.3 million) from the central bank.

Some Rp31.5 billion of the embezzled money was used to bribe legislators deliberating a law governing Bank Indonesia’s operations, the court found.

The remaining Rp68.5 billion was used to hire lawyers to defend senior bank officials accused of embezzling billions of dollars in bailout funds for Indonesian banks that went missing during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

“Both defendants have been proved legally and convincingly to have been corrupt and must be sentenced to four years in jail and fined Rp200 million ($18,600) each,” chief judge Moefri told the court.

The convictions come after the court in October sentenced former BI governor Burhanuddin Abdullah to five years in jail for his role in the scandal, which has been linked to Aulia Pohan, the father-in-law of Yudhoyono’s son.

The powerful Corruption Eradication Commission named Pohan a suspect in the graft case last month.

Two lawmakers are also on trial in the corruption court over the case, which is seen as a key litmus test of Yudhoyono’s pledged anti-corruption drive.

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