News : Former Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore faces 5 Years Imprisonment

News : Former Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore faces 5 Years Imprisonment

The former Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore, Muhammad Slamet Hidayat, faces a sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of Rp 250 million. Slamet and the former treasurer to the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore, Erizal, who also faces five years imprisonment, are suspected of committing corruption collaboratively during the renovation process of embassy buildings and housing from August 2003 to January 2004.

“Both have been proven to have committed corruption and violated Article 2, section 1 of the Corrupiton Law,” said public prosecutor Suvvardji when calling for the sentence at the Corruption Court yesterday. Both defendants were required to pay compensation of Rp 981.5 million or an additional sentence of 1 year in prison.

Slamet directly appointed contractors when renovating the embassy buildings, without first inviting tenders. He agreed to the price that quoted by Lee Ah Kuang, the owner of Ben Soon Heng Enterprises, without negotiation and appointed Ben Soon Heng Enterprises as the contracted company for the renovations. “Slamet should have appointed a project leader and a goods procurement committee,” said the prosecutor.

Implementation of the project was conducted by Erizal, who issued misleading and false letters to receive additional funding. Slamet requested that Erizal put aside Sin$ 1 million of this additional funding.

“This money was then divided between them. Slamet received Sin$190 thousand and Erizal Sin$120 thousand,” said the prosecutor. As a result of their actions the nation lost Rp 8.47 billion. “The two defendants have already returned Rp 6.5 billion and US$1,000,” said the prosecutor.

At the conclusion of the court session, both defendants declined to comment. “I am disappointed with the proposed sentences,” said their lawyer, Yuliono. In his opinion, the prosecutor did not give concession to the two defendants on account of their good conduct and return of a portion of the funds.

The court session, presided by judge Masyurdin Chaniago, will be adjourned until Wednesday next week when the defense will present their case.

Source : Koran Tempo, 20 November 2008

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