Jakarta. The South Jakarta District Court on Wednesday sentenced Gayus Tambunan to seven years in jail, in the conclusion of what has arguably been Indonesia’s most controversial corruption case over the past year. However, the much-awaited verdict was limited to the scope of the indictment prepared by the prosecutors, and did not touch on the source of Gayus’s illicit multibillion rupiah wealth. Gayus was found guilty of bribing a judge and law enforcers that led to his acquittal last March in his first, controversial trial in Tangerang, in which the prosecution dropped the money laundering and corruption charges and went on only with a minor embezzlement charge unrelated to his huge bank accounts. The court also convicted him of misusing his authority in accepting tax complaints filed by Sidoarjo-based seafood company PT Surya Alam Tunggal, causing the tax directorate to refund payments and inflict a loss of Rp 570 million to the state. “Despite the finding of another suspected crime, such as the Rp 28 billion bank accounts, the panel of judges in delivering the conviction refer only to what is outlined in the indictment and what is proven in court,” presiding judge Albertina Ho said. In addition to the graft conviction, Gayus was also proven guilty of lying about his wealth. In addition to the jail term, Gayus was also ordered to pay a fine of Rp 300 million. The fact that the defendant has never been convicted, has little children who need his care, and is still young and is expected to change his attitudes after serving his sentence were cited as mitigating factors.
January 27, 2011