[Updated at 6:55 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, 2014]
Jakarta. The Bandung Anti-Corruption Court on Monday sentenced former Bandung mayor Dada Rosada to serve ten years in prison for bribing judges.
“[We are] declaring the defendant validly and convincingly guilty of... corruption,” presiding judge Nurhakim said at a hearing, as quoted by Indonesian news portal Detik.com. “[The court] hands down a ten-year prison sentence, minus served time.”
The court also imposed a fine of Rp 600 million ($51,600) or an additional three months. Prosecutors had demanded a fifteen-year sentence.
Dada was found guilt of paying off District Court judges to rig the trials of seven city officials found guilty of embezzling approximately $7 million in social-aid funds intended to help the city’s poorest residents. He was also found guilty of paying bribes to West Java High Court judge Hakim Pasti Serefina.
Nurhakim said that the court took into account in reaching its decision the damage Dada had done to the municipal government's image and to the state of public trust in elected leaders.
“As a mayor, the defendant should have held back his staffs from corruption, but the defendant ignored that and instead was involved actively in the social aid corruption case,” Nurhakim said.
Dada colluded in the payoffs with former city secretary Edi Siswadi, who was sentenced to serve eight years in prison and fined Rp 500 million ($43,800) by a panel of judges at the West Java Corruption Court on Thursday. Former district court judge Setyabudi Tejocahyono was found guilty of taking bribe money and sentenced to serve 12 years.
Former Bandung Asset Management Agency head Herry Nurhayat is awaiting trial for his alleged role in the graft.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said it caught Setyabudi red-handed taking bribe money from businessman Toto Hutagalung, a close friend of Dada's, in March of 2013. Setyabudi asked for Rp 1.5 billion in return for for the light sentences, paid in three Rp 500 million installments.
Dada's lawyer Abidin said that his client would appeal the verdict, but Dada seemed uncertain.
“As has been said earlier, we will mull it over," he said. "We can't say anything today, we still have a long time [to decide].”
Under Indonesian law, an appeal must be filed within a week of the initial verdict.
KPK prosecutors told the court that they had not decided whether or not they would file their own appeal to push for a harsher sentence.
Abidin blamed Dada's actions on Toto, the former mayor's friend and middleman.
"What happened was Dada Rosada fell prey to Toto Hutagalung's extortion,” Abidin said.
Some 500 people rallied outside the courthouse as the verdict was read, with Dada's supporters and detractors both out in force.
Dada's supporters, calling themselves the Grassroots People's Movement (GMBI) and Jangkar, or Anchor, felt that the sentence was too steep.
“Where's the justice that you should have given to a person who has greatly contribute to Bandung," A GMBI spokesman said. "This verdict is political intervention and is not based on justice."
Dada's detractors, calling themselves Ganyang Mafia Hukum, or Crush the Judicial Mafia, called for a death sentence.
Graft is not punishable by death under Indonesian law.
Around 550 police officers, including 30 riot officers equipped with water cannons and tear gas, were deployed to secure the courthouse.