Ex-PLN chief walks free in Riau project graft trial


  • Indonesia
  • Wednesday, 06 Nov 2019

Vindicated: Sofyan (left) reacting outside the court after he was freed of all charges in Jakarta. — Reuters

JAKARTA: The Jakarta Corruption Court has cleared Sofyan Basir, the former president director of state-owned electricity company PLN, of all charges for his alleged role in a bribery case related to a coal-fired power plant (PLTU) project in Riau.

“We declare the defendant not guilty of committing any crimes as was indicted,” head judge Hariono said as he read out the verdict at the hearing on Monday.

“He was not proved to have aided other people in committing bribery,” he added.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors had demanded a punishment of five years in prison as well as a Rp200mil (RM59,000) fine.

Sofyan had been accused of deliberately facilitating meetings between the Golkar Party’s Idrus Marham and Eni Maulani Saragih and businessman Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo with the PLN board of directors to speed up deliberations over the Riau-1 power plant.

The KPK accused Sofyan of soliciting bribes in arranging the meetings, although he had not accepted any illicit payments himself. The commission also alleged that Sofyan was aware that the Golkar politicians would accept a bribe from Johannes.

The same court had found Johannes, a shareholder of Blackgold Natural Resources Ltd, guilty of giving bribes totaling Rp 4.75 billion (RM1.37mil) to Idrus and Eni in an attempt to secure the project.

The court also handed down a guilty verdict to Idrus and Eni in their individual trials.

The KPK claimed that Sofyan had arranged several meetings over the power plant project from 2016 to 2018 that involved multiple parties.

It also alleged that Sofyan instructed Johannes to “participate” in the Riau-1 project during a 2016 meeting at Hotel Mulia Senayan in South Jakarta.

The KPK named Sofyan as a suspect in the Riau-1 graft case in April and initially suspected him of accepting a bribe from Johannes in exchange for the right to develop the Riau-1 power plant. — The Jakarta Post/ANN

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