I Ketut Sudikerta, a former deputy governor of Bali, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering by the Denpasar District Court today.
Sudikerta’s case goes back to 2013 when he directed Alim Markus, the owner of the Indonesian conglomerate Maspion Group, towards buying two plots of land in South Bali under the pretense of false land certificates. Markus deposited IDR150 billion (US$10.7 million) to PT Pecatu Gemilang via a bank account opened by Sudikerta’s wife, Ida Ayu Ketut Sri Sumiantini, before realizing the certificates were fake and reported Sudikerta to the police.
After Sudikerta was found guilty of all charges, the court also handed Sudikerta a IDR5 billion (US$357,525) fine in lieu of an additional four months in prison on top of the 12-year sentence.
Sudikerta’s sentence was more lenient than the 15 years demanded by prosecutors, with judges citing his confession to guilt, lack of criminal history, and public service to Bali as extenuating circumstances in his case.
“The defendant’s actions were detrimental to others and damaged the investment climate, which resulted in investors’ distrust for investing in Bali,” Judge Esthar Oktavi said during the sentencing trial in justifying the 12-year sentence, as quoted by state news agency Antara.
Sudikerta immediately expressed his intention to file an appeal against the sentence.
Sudikerta was named a fraud suspect in December of last year and arrested in April by Bali Police at the Ngurah Rai International Airport as he was about to leave for Jakarta.
Sudikerta served as Badung’s deputy regent from 2005 to 2013 before he was elected as Bali’s deputy governor in 2013, serving under then-governor I Made Pangku Paskita until 2018.