KPK: Central Tapanuli District Head Named Suspect for Bribing Akil Mochtar

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has named the head of Central Tapanuli district, in North Sumatra, a suspect for allegedly bribing former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar.

Raja Bonaran Situmeang allegedly paid Akil to secure a favorable outcome in an election dispute case. The disgraced judge has been sentenced to life in prison for taking bribes.

“Investigators have obtained two strong pieces of evidence against R.B.S., the district head of Central Tapanuli,” KPK spokesman Johan Budi said on Wednesday.

Johan said Bonaran was charged under Article 6 of the 1999 Law on Corruption for bribing a judge, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of Rp 750 million ($65,000).

The KPK claims Bonaran paid Akil Rp 1.8 billion through a middleman identified as Bakhtiar Ahmad Sibarani.

The antigraft agency has raided Bonaran’s office and official residence in Sibolga to secure evidence.

Bonaran, a lawyer, became a source of controversy years ago when he was representing businessman Anggoro Widjojo in the Integrated Radio Communication System (SKRT) graft case at the Forestry Ministry.

Bonaran, along with Anggoro’s brother, Anggodo Widjojo, was accused of trying to obstruct the KPK’s investigation.

But despite the scandal, Bonaran managed to win the election in Central Tapanuli in 2011. His rival, Dina Riana Samosir, and her running mate, Hikmal Batubara, challenged the result at the Constitutional Court, citing Bonaran’s role in helping Anggoro leave the country. However, the court decided not to revoke Bonaran’s right to be elected district head.

Anggoro was sentenced to five years in prison last month after being arrested in China earlier this year. (thejakartaglobe)

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