Prosecutor Seeks Death for Corruption Fighter

JAKARTA ~ Prosecutors have requested the death sentence for former chief corruption fighter Antasari Azhar, who is on trial for the alleged murder of his rival in a love triangle.

Prosecutor Cirus Sinaga told the South Jakarta District Court on Tuesday that Azhar had “participated in the act of persuading others to carry out premeditated murder … and (should) be given the death sentence”.

The sacked Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chief has denied any role in the March gangland-style shooting of businessman Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, and says he is the victim of a conspiracy to discredit the commission.

Police allege Azhar, 56, carried out the killing after Zulkarnaen attempted to blackmail him over a Jakarta hotel room tryst with the businessman’s 22-year-old golf caddy wife.

“From the beginning we can see this case has been engineered. I’m confident that Antasari will be freed because there’s no evidence to show that he instructed anyone to commit murder,” defence lawyer Mohammad Assegaf said.

Ex-prosecutor Azhar was arrested on May 4 last year and has been held in police custody for allegedly masterminding the murder.

Zulkarnaen was married to Rhani Juliani, the chief prosecution witness and a golf caddy at the course both men frequented.

Azhar’s supporters say he is being framed by vested interests in a bid to cripple the anti-corruption commission, which has claimed a number of high-profile scalps among lawmakers, bankers and prosecutors.

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