District Head sentenced to 11-year imprisonment

EoF News / 17 September 2008

PEKANBARU (EoF News) —Pelalawan District Head (inactive) Tengku Azmun Jaafar was penalized to 11-year imprisonment by Corruption Crime Court in Jakarta yesterday (16/9/2008) as he found guilty of committing corruption in issuing pulpwood plantation licenses for 15 companies, media reports said.

7 out of 15 pulpwood companies were genuinely established by Azmun and his relatives before being taken over by group of PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), an APRIL subsidiary company in Riau, as well as being embraced in a joint operation with the group.

The KPK judges said that Azmun found guilty in embezzling for himself and his corporate by issuing the licenses (IUPHHK-HT) where the district head received money of Rp 12.2 billion, Riau Pos reported (17/9/2008).

The judges said that the loss suffered by the State is derived from the potential loss due to operation in clearing the natural forest by the companies and deduction by their tax or fee payment to the State’s account, Tribun Pekanbaru reported.

Azmun told journalists after the trial that the punishment is quite hard to accept as he just conducted the duty by issuing the licenses. Previously, prosecutors of the trial charged the defendant with 12-year imprisonment and paying Rp19 billion for the loss suffered by the State.  

The defendant told the court that he is thinking over to respond the punishment decided by the judges. Azmun is also sentenced to pay Rp500 million fine or six-month imprisonment as well as to repay Rp 12 billion for the money he received from the corruption.

Beside Azmun, there are other Riau officials that named suspects by KPK court. They are former Riau forestry service heads: Asral Rachman, Syuhada Tasman and Burhanudin Hussein (current Kampar District Head).

EoF learns that the 15 companies which obtained licenses issued by Azmun and linked to corruption practices as follows:

APP affiliated company: Putra Riau Perkasa (21,650 ha), and unidentified affiliation: PT. Sinar Deli Pratama (3,000 ha).

APRIL: CV. Bhakti Praja Mulia (5,800 ha), CV. Mutiara Lestari (4,000 ha), CV. Tuah Negeri (1,500 ha), KUD Bina Jaya Langgam (1,887 ha), CV. Alam Lestari (3,330 ha),  CV. Riau Bina Insani (4,300 ha), CV. Harapan Jaya (4,800 ha), PT. Nusa Prima Manunggal (4,412 ha), PT. Merbau Pelalawan Lestari (5,590 ha), PT. Putri Lindung Bulan (2,500 ha), PT. Selaras Abadi Utama (13,600 ha), PT. Bukit Raya Pelalawan (3,200 ha),  and PT. Riau Bina Insani (7,275 ha).