Ex-Riau Governor sentenced to 14 years for corruption

EoF News / 13 March 2014
Rusli Zainal. courtesy to Riau Corruption Trial

EoF News (PEKANBARU) - The result of corruption trial of former governor of Riau Rusli Zainal (RZ) which was held on Wednesday (12/3) at Pekanbaru State Court sentenced RZ to 14 years in prison and a liability to pay a fine of Rp 1 billion subsidiary of 6 months imprisonment after being pleaded guilty for corruption on forestry sector and National Games (PON) 2012, media reported.

The sentence given to RZ is lighter than the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutor’s demand of 17 years imprisonment and revocation of his political right. However, media reported that  RZ said he would appeal the verdict.

RZ—the sixth Riau official charged by KPK for corruption in forestry sector—was named suspect since February 2013 for allegations of paying and accepting bribe during the National Games PON XVIII as well as allegations of authority abuse associated to the issuance of IUPHHK HT Work Chart (long-term logging permit) in Pelalawan and Siak districts which caused IDR 265 billions loss to the State.

On forestry sector, the illegal issuance were given to pulpwood suppliers Mitra Tani Nusa Sejati, Rimba Mutiara Permai, Selaras Abadi Utama, Bhakti Praja Mulia, Putri Lindung Bulan, Mitra Hutani Jaya, Satria Perkasa Agung and Seraya Sumber Lestari. They are affiliated to APRIL and APP pulp giants.

The court was also marred by commotion between RZ supporters and demonstators from Students Association for Organization Rescue (HMI MPO) that demanded punishment to the fullest extent for RZ. HMI MPO field coordinator Taufik orated, “(He has caused) not only state’s financial loss, but also ecological damage to Riau forest. Not to mention the PON case that deprived a lot of people’s money and now everything is left unitilized,” he said as quoted on Republika.co.id.

Jikalahari coordinator, Muslim Rasyid, had previously explained to EoF that KPK should also investigate people from companies, either from APP, APRIL and their suppliers whom involved with cases of those officials. “It is unfair to see that a manager from APRIL’s PT RAPP could escape and remain at large for years despite the court’s witnesses citing that man as key person who knows much the bribery and forest corruption cases,” Muslim said.

Five officials of Riau province including two former district heads had been jailed for corruption cases related to logging licenses and approvals to timber suppliers of two pulp giants in the province, APP and APRIL.