Monday, 27 July 2009

A Half Trillion of Easy Mon

After a legal dispute that has taken almost 10 years in process, the Supreme Court suddenly sentenced ex Bank Indonesia chief, Syahril Sabirin, and businessman Joko Tjandra for misusing central bank funds. Besides a two-year imprisonment sentence imposed on them, Supreme Court decision would bring another legal implication, namely money of more than half of trillions of Rupiahs that became the object of the case that must be confiscated and returned to the state. It is as if the sate treasury received a large blessing after the owner of the money, under the Bank Bali scandal, has remained unknown for years.

The amount confiscated in the Bank Bali case is Rp 546,468,544,738. Such a large sum is enough for cost of construction of 5,000 houses for middle to lower class society, or more than 1,000 of elementary school buildings and their facilities. But, because the money was put in account which function is similar to a deposit box, the amount remains unchanged . If Law enforcers have seriously worked hard to enforce the law in past, especially in Bank Indonesia Liquidity support cases, maybe trillion of Rupiah could have been saved to buy new military planes or to construct railways outside Java, toll roads, seaports, hospitals, or power generators.

To create one case of justice requires 10 years. This is in Bank Bali case. The process of this case was highlighted with a inconsistencies and infirmness of the judges. At lower court stage, Syahril was sentenced with imprisonment, but he was free when the case reached high court stage. When the prosecutor submitted an appeal to the supreme Court, the Supreme Court freed Syahril from charges. There is another story about Joko. At lower court stage, Joko was freed, and the appeal submitted by the prosecutor to the Supreme court was rejected. Actually, there is one more convict in this case, namely ex chief of Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency, Pande Lubis. He was ruled guilty by the supreme Court and has now passed his four-year imprisonment sentence which he spent in Nusakambangan. The prosecutor found inconsistencies in this case, because three convicts in one case received different punishments. This is the reason why the prosecutor sought a judicial review in this case. And last month, Supreme Court reversed the decision and ruled to sentence to both of them.

In many other large cases, especially those relating to Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support, the court decided in favor of the convicts or the suspect. So, there is an assumption that justice can be bought.

So, when the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) started its work in 2004, there are no cases handled by KPK that last for years. And, there are no suspect who are free from legal sentences. For examples, what is revealed in the meeting of Bank Indonesia Board of Governors on flow of money to the house ended in ex Bank Indonesia chief, Burhanuddin Abdullah, being sent to prison.

The Syahril and Joko case should become a good lesson. If the law enforcers work seriously, they can save state assets with significant amount which will be meaningful to the economy. And, we have a bitter experience which is different rulings of different court levels, in one case. So, Joko chooses to run away because he has been safely doing business. And, Syahril, has started its retirement period. Our legal system must be changed to become a predictable one because he has been safely doing business. And, Syahril, has started its retirement period. Our legak system must be changed to become a predictable one because we have the laws. There should be no more cases which process lasts for one decade. Our legal system is one of the reasons why we are surpassed by other nations.

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