Ex-Indonesian minister jailed for 12 years in COVID-19 graft scandal

By Agustinus Costa – REUTERS

Indonesia’s Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara walks as he arrives at Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, December 6, 2020 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Hafidz Mubarak/ via REUTERS

JAKARTA, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Former Indonesian social affairs minister Juliari Batubara has been sentenced to 12 years in prison over a multi-million dollar COVID-19 graft scandal, the Jakarta Corruption Court ruled on Monday.

A judge said the former politician was found “convincingly guilty of corruption” after receiving 32.4 billion rupiah ($2.25 million) in kickbacks in relation to the procurement of goods intended for COVID-19 social assistance packages.

The politician, who the court found had intervened in the tender process, was also fined 500 million rupiah, and ordered to pay back 14.5 billion rupiah in embezzled funds used for personal expenses.

In the streamed ruling, the judges said Juliari would also be banned from public office for four years after serving his prison term.

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