JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian anti-graft organizations have questioned the Supreme Court's commitment to fight corruption, after it reduced the sentence of disgraced Democrat party legislator Anas Urbaningrum from 14 to eight years on October 1 following a case review.
The country's top anti-corruption body, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), expressed disappointment at the court's decision.
“[The reduced sentences] shows that [the Supreme Court] and KPK do not see eye to eye in fighting corruption,” said KPK spokesman Ali Fikri.
“Although convicts have the right to file case reviews, the Supreme Court’s leniency will undermine public confidence [in the legal process].”
"How can Indonesia be graft-free when the courts give them a slap on the wrist?” asked Indonesia Corruption Watch researcher Kurnia Ramadhana, noting that the high court has meted out sentences averaging less than three years to those convicted of corruption since 2019.
Academics attributed the lighter sentences to internal shifts in the Supreme Court and KPK.
“The sentence reductions coincided with the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Artidjo Alkostar, a judge renowned for imposing stiff sentences on graft convicts,” said Gadjah Mada University researcher Zaenur Rohman.
“In contrast, his successors took a more lenient stance [towards corruption].”
Trisakti University criminal law expert Abdul Fickar Hadjar traced the problem to laws governing the KPK.