Jakarta – Indonesia’s ex-minister of social affairs had demanded bribes to give poor families Corona aid. For this he is now going to jail. On Monday, Juliari Batubara, 49, was found guilty of corruption by a Jakarta court and sentenced to twelve years in prison.
The court also imposed a fine of almost 30,000 euros on the politician – or an additional prison sentence of six months. In addition, the ex-minister has to pay the equivalent of around 858,000 euros in damages or, otherwise, two more years in prison.
The ex-minister accepted bribes of $ 1.2 million. During a police operation, suitcases, rucksacks and envelopes packed with banknotes were found.
Batubara had accepted money from two companies that were supposed to deliver food packages to people particularly affected by the corona pandemic. Indonesia’s then Minister of Social Affairs was arrested in December.
Bribery is not uncommon in Indonesia – politicians in particular are considered very corrupt. The country is suffering severely from the corona pandemic: around four million cases of infection and more than 126,000 deaths have been officially reported to date. However, due to a low test rate and incomplete data collection, the official figures are far too low.