Former Indonesian minister sentenced to four years in jail for corruption

JAKARTA - Indonesia's anti-corruption court (Tipikor) on Tuesday (Feb 9) sentenced former minister Jero Wacik to 4 years in prison for misusing ministerial operation funds during his service, Xinhua news agency reported. The sentence was lower than 9 years demanded by the prosecutor in the previous trial.

"The defendant, Jero Wacik, was proved of convincingly guilty in committing corruption crimes," Sumpeno, the judge who presided over the trial against the former minister said in the Tipikor's court room when he read out the final verdict Tuesday afternoon.

He said the former minister was proved guilty in multiple corruption charges brought against him by the prosecutor in previous trials.

Besides the imprisonment, Wacik was also fined some 150 million rupiah (about US$11,000, S$15,400) or 3 months' imprisonment in lieu of the fine.

The judge also added the punishment by asking the former minister to return more than 5 billion rupiah (about US$367,000, S$513,400) in compensation to the state coffers within a month after the verdict takes effect.

If he fails to comply with the order, the judge would order the prosecutor's office to confiscate all of his assets and sell it through an auction. Should the funds resulting from the auction be insufficient to pay the compensation, Jero would have to remain imprisoned for another year, Sumpeno said.

Jero Wacik served ten years in the two consecutive administrations of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono from 2004 to 2014, holding the ministerial portfolios of tourism, energy and mineral resources. He was proven to have misused a total of more than 8 billion rupiah (about US$587,200, S$821,000) ministerial operation funds from 2004 to 2009 to finance his personal activities Jero was also found guilty of ordering his subordinates to collect more money for his operational funds when he served as the energy minister.