Indonesian minister could face death penalty for alleged coronavirus-related corruption

Indonesia’s social affairs minister Juliari Batubara has been found to be a suspect in a kickback payment affair involving Covid-19 aid packages

Indonesian social affairs minister Juliari Batubara, a member of President Joko Widodo’s second-term Cabinet, could become the first Indonesian official to face the death penalty for corruption for allegedly taking kickbacks in the distribution of coronavirus social assistance funds.

Juliari Batubara was named as a suspect after Indonesian anti-corruption agents seized suitcases, backpacks and envelopes stuffed with cash equivalent to $1.4 million in a sting operation on December 5.

Investigators in the case allege that he received the money in kickbacks from two domestic contractors that were appointed to supply basic food packages for people affected by the pandemic. For each package, Batubara would receive 10,000 rupiah, or $0.70, officials alleged.

The chairman of Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission, Firli Bahuri, said the 48-year-old US-educated businessman-turned-politician could be charged under article two of the 1999 Corruption Law, which prescribes capital punishment for officials who cause losses to the state during an emergency.

“If there are people who took advantage of the situation for their personal gain, then we will not hesitate to take firm action,” Bahuri said.

President Widodo reacts angrily

Apart from the death penalty, Batubara could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of one billion rupiah ($70,000), if found guilty.

President Joko Widodo was clearly not amused.

“That’s the people’s money, especially as it is related to social assistance in the context of handling Covid-19 and restoring the economy,” Widodo said in a strongly-worded statement that hinted at little leniency for Batubara.

“I will not protect those involved in corruption,” the president said.



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Indonesia's social affairs minister Juliari Batubara has been found to be a suspect in a kickback payment affair involving Covid-19 aid packages Indonesian social affairs minister Juliari Batubara, a member of President Joko Widodo’s second-term Cabinet, could become the first Indonesian official to face the death penalty for corruption for allegedly taking kickbacks in the distribution of coronavirus social assistance funds. Juliari Batubara was named as a suspect after Indonesian anti-corruption agents seized suitcases, backpacks and envelopes stuffed with cash equivalent to $1.4 million in a sting operation on December 5. Investigators in the case allege that he received the...

Indonesia’s social affairs minister Juliari Batubara has been found to be a suspect in a kickback payment affair involving Covid-19 aid packages

Indonesian social affairs minister Juliari Batubara, a member of President Joko Widodo’s second-term Cabinet, could become the first Indonesian official to face the death penalty for corruption for allegedly taking kickbacks in the distribution of coronavirus social assistance funds.

Juliari Batubara was named as a suspect after Indonesian anti-corruption agents seized suitcases, backpacks and envelopes stuffed with cash equivalent to $1.4 million in a sting operation on December 5.

Investigators in the case allege that he received the money in kickbacks from two domestic contractors that were appointed to supply basic food packages for people affected by the pandemic. For each package, Batubara would receive 10,000 rupiah, or $0.70, officials alleged.

The chairman of Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission, Firli Bahuri, said the 48-year-old US-educated businessman-turned-politician could be charged under article two of the 1999 Corruption Law, which prescribes capital punishment for officials who cause losses to the state during an emergency.

“If there are people who took advantage of the situation for their personal gain, then we will not hesitate to take firm action,” Bahuri said.

President Widodo reacts angrily

Apart from the death penalty, Batubara could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of one billion rupiah ($70,000), if found guilty.

President Joko Widodo was clearly not amused.

“That’s the people’s money, especially as it is related to social assistance in the context of handling Covid-19 and restoring the economy,” Widodo said in a strongly-worded statement that hinted at little leniency for Batubara.

“I will not protect those involved in corruption,” the president said.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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