Indonesian ex-minister gets five years in baby lobster graft case

Indonesia’s former fisheries minister Edhy Prabowo sits in a detention vehicle following a verdict hearing in Jakarta on July 15, 2021, after being sentenced to five years in prison in a corruption case linked to baby lobster exports. — AFP pic
Indonesia’s former fisheries minister Edhy Prabowo sits in a detention vehicle following a verdict hearing in Jakarta on July 15, 2021, after being sentenced to five years in prison in a corruption case linked to baby lobster exports. — AFP pic

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JAKARTA, July 15 — Indonesia’s former fisheries minister Edhy Prabowo was sentenced to five years in prison today after he was convicted in a corruption case linked to baby lobster exports.

Prabowo, 48, was among more than a dozen suspects arrested last year on charges that they took bribes for issuing permits to export the crustaceans.

The shipments were banned under Prabowo’s predecessor due to sustainability concerns.

“The defendant has been proven guilty of committing corruption,” presiding judge Albertus Usada said Thursday as he passed sentence in a video hearing held due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“(Prabowo) did not set a good example as a public official.”

The Jakarta court also ordered Prabowo to pay more than 11 billion rupiah (US$758,000) in fines and restitution or face as much as two additional years in prison.

Graft remains a big problem in the Southeast Asian nation, where politicians are widely seen as among the most corrupt public officials.

In a separate case, Indonesia’s former social affairs minister Juliari Batubara was awaiting sentencing on charges that he took US$1.2 million in bribes linked to food aid for those hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, Indonesia’s former sports minister was jailed for seven years after being found guilty of taking some US$800,000 in bribes. — AFP

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