Ex forestry service imprisoned to 2.5 year for graft case

EoF News / 25 October 2012

EoF News (PEKANBARU) — Former Riau Forestry Service and Kampar District Head, Burhanuddin Husein was punished two and a half year jail by Corruption Criminal Court in Pekanbaru on Wednesday after judges decided he was found guilty in committing graft collectively.

Antara Riau reported that Burhanuddin was jailed for 2 years and 6 months and fine to Rp100 million as presiding judge Isnurul said the defendant was proven to commit corruption altogether with other convicts whom punished previously.

This punishment is quite lighter than Prosecutors demanded with 6 year sentencement, media reports said.

Burhanuddin is the fifth Riau official jailed for being found guilty in graft case following two former District Heads and two former Forestry Service Heads whom related to issuing logging licenses to APRIL and APP timber suppliers.

Burhanuddin’s case is an expansion probe of former Pelalawan District Head’s and Siak District Head’s as the convict issued logging approvals to several pulpwood plantation companies in both districts. They are PT Mitra Tani Usaha Sejati, PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari, PT Rimba Mutiara Permai, PT Selaras Abadi Utama, PT Uniseraya, PT Triomas FDI, CV Alam Lestari dan PT Madukoro.

Despite ha was named suspect in 2008, Burhanuddin was detained by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in January 2012.

This week Riau Governor Rusli Zainal was questioned by KPK in Jakarta for ongoing probe of National Olympics graft case and forestry corruption, media reports said.

Ex-Minister to be probed

In another development, KPK spokesperson did not rule out to summon former Forestry Minister, Malam Sambet Kaban, amid reports said that the policital party’s chairman allegedly assisted the issuance of annual logging licenses for 12 pulpwood companies, Mongabay.co.id said this week.

Some media reports based on accounts in the forestry corruption trials said that beside Governor Rusli Zainal who signed annual logging licenses which were not his authority, Kaban could be brought to justice.

KPK spokesperson, Johan Budi, said that the commission would question  Kaban relating to probe of industrial timber plantation licenses in 2005-2006 if necessary, Terbit newspaper reported (19/10/2012).

Jailed former Pelalawan District Head, Azmun Jaafar, told inilah.com in September  that before verification granted to 12 companies whom  had licensing problems taken by the Ministry, the annual logging licenses secretly issued for the pulpwood suppliers.

In May 2012, a coalition of Indonesia’s NGOs called Anti-Forest Mafia Coalition urged global pulp buyers last week to beware of allegedly corruption-tainted pulp products following an analysis of timber companies’ involvement in graft cases that jailed government officials in Riau province.

The coalition in a press conference in Jakarta also urged the government to curb logging licenses to companies who allegedly involved in forest corruption cases and bring the timber companies to justice.

The NGOs consist of Jikalahari, ICW, IWGFF, Walhi, Sawit Watch, Telapak, Greenpeace and Huma held a press conference last week following the coalition’s submission of data on corruption to the national Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Monday (1 May 2012).