After Setya Novanto’s Verdict

Finally, the Corruption Court sentenced the defendant of the e-KTP corruption case, Setya Novanto (Setnov), on Tuesday (24/04). Setya was sentenced to 15 years in prison with a fine of Rp 500 million, and also required to repay an amount of 7.3 million US dollars. The judge also revoked the political rights of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives for five years.

Setnov was subjected to Article 3 of the Corruption Eradication Law in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code. The articles showed that Setnov was legally and convincingly proven to have misused the authority in the project of procurement of e-KTP. With the position as Chairman of the Golkar fraction, he was considered to have influenced and coordinated other members of the Parliament in order to disburse funds amounting to Rp 5.9 trillion, the total value of the procurement project.

There are several issues that are important to be observed in the verdict. First, the verdict against Setnov is not maximized in accordance with Article 3 of the Corruption Eradication Law, which is referred to by the judges. Referring to this provision, Setnov should be given a sentence of 20 years in prison, even a lifetime sentence. Instead of punishing the maximum, the verdict is actually even lower than the KPK prosecutor’s demand of 16 years.

Second, the judge’s verdict also reaffirms that the Setnov’s request to be a Justice Collaborator (JC) has been officially rejected. It is therefore understandable that the sentence for Setnov exceeds that of the three previous defendants. The rejection of Setnov as a JC actually can be predicted well in advance, especially during the reading of the charges, as the KPK prosecutor said that Setnov did not qualify as a JC. This is because during the process of investigation and trial of former Chairman of the Golkar Party, he had often indicated bad faith and acted uncooperatively on the legal process.

Apart from that, the additional penalty imposed against Setnov in the form of revocation of the political rights for five years deserves to be appreciated. With this additional penalty, it is hoped that it will later become a jurisprudence for other judges when deciding on similar cases. The combination of maximum imprisonment and revocation of political rights is believed to make people who want to commit acts of corruption to think twice.

After the verdict, the KPK should be able to ensure that the handling of the e-KTP case does not stop. There are at least 2 steps that must be followed up immediately. First, the KPK is obliged to follow up the parties mentioned of having participated in receiving funds from the project worth Rp 5.9 trillion. In the reading of Setnov’s decision, the judge also mentioned 27 parties that also benefited from the e-KTP procurement other than the defendant. Based on the verdict, the KPK should be able to follow up by issuing a new inquiry warrant.

Secondly, the KPK should start tracing the alleged crime of money laundering committed by Setnov. This is because during the hearing, many cross-border financial transactions allegedly addressed to Setnov as well as the flow of funds to several corporations, were found. At least, using Article 77 of the Anti-Money Laundering Law, which requires the defendant to prove that their property is not based from a criminal offense, it will be difficult for the perpetrators of corruption to argue otherwise. Simply put, if a corrupt official cannot prove otherwise, and their property is reasonably suspected to be derived from corruption, then the said property can be seized by the state. *** (Kurnia/Emerson)



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