On Monday, Indonesia’s former minister of social affairs was sentenced to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of accepting $1.2 million in bribes related to food help for poor families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Juliari Batubara received the harsh sentence after his arrest in December and the discovery of bags, backpacks, and envelopes loaded with cash in a sting operation.
“The court sentences the defendant to 12 years in prison and mandates him to pay 500 million rupiahs ($35,000) in fines or serve six more months in prison,” said presiding judge Muhammad Damis at the virtual hearing.
The former politician was also ordered to pay reparations in the amount of $1 million or face an additional two years in prison, according to the court.
The court previously heard that Batubara planned to collect money from two contractors hired to provide basic food supplies to Indonesians affected by the health crisis.
Following Batubara’s arrest, President Joko Widodo swore not to shield corrupt officials, referring to the stolen sums as “the people’s money.”
In Indonesia, graft is still a major issue, with politicians being regarded as among the most corrupt.
In recent years, the country’s anti-corruption agency has arrested a slew of public officials, including ex-fisheries ministe
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