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Indonesia former beauty queen jailed for corruption

Former beauty queen-turned-MP Angelina Sondakh with her father, left, and her lawyer at a graft court in Jakarta yesterday where she was jailed for five years. Source: AP
INDONESIA'S Corruption Crimes Court has jailed Angelina Sondakh, the Australian-born government MP and former Miss Indonesia, for up to five years.

The conviction is another blow for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party, already reeling from the long-running scandal.
Before yesterday's verdict, Sondakh, 35, said: "I will accept the court's decision and according to (her religious teacher) I will say, 'Thanks be to God' ."

She was jailed for 4 1/2 years, with another six months pending unless she pays a Rp250 million ($24,500) fine. Sondakh was accused of taking $US4.64 million ($4.4m) in bribes to facilitate construction contracts for the Youth and Sport and Education ministries. The corruption court last April jailed former Democrat treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin for 58 months.

Last month, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named as an official suspect Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng, a Yudhoyono confidante

Mr Mallarangeng, who resigned his cabinet and party posts but says he is innocent, has been summoned to KPK for questioning today.

Nazaruddin turned on his colleagues, apparently because the party neglected to protect him when the racket was exposed in April 2011.

He implicated himself and them in a network of contract-fixing, kickbacks and front companies that siphoned public funds into the Democrat machine.

Sondakh, who denied the charges against her, claimed she was the victim of a political frame-up and called Nazaruddin "the most evil person on earth".

During Sondakh's trial, Nazaruddin alleged her role was collecting kickbacks although he also claimed both of them were "victims" and those responsible had not been charged.

Previously, Nazaruddin accused party chairman Anas Urbaningrum of complicity in the illegal funding operation.

The Sondakh judgment now puts greater pressure on Mr Anas, her political patron, who also denies any wrongdoing.

Widely seen as a potential national leader before the scandal, Mr Anas is so far designated a "witness" in the KPK probe.

Until she was charged and taken into custody eight months ago, "Angie" Sondakh was a Democrat deputy secretary-general and senior member of parliamentary Commission X, which oversees Youth and Sports.

Elected to the national parliament in 2004, several months before Dr Yudhoyono became President, Sondakh was one of his "new broom" party's glamour MPs.

She was born and lived her first five years in Armidale, NSW, while her father Lefrand "Lucky" Sondakh studied at the University of New England as an agricultural economist.

The family returned to Indonesia in 1982 and Professor Sondakh became rector of a state university in Manado, North Sulawesi.

His daughter went back to Australia for three years of high school, including a year at Presbyterian Ladies College, Sydney.

Back in Jakarta she gained an economics degree at a prestigious Catholic university and two years after graduation was named Miss Indonesia 2001.

Shortly before her re-election in 2009, Sondakh married another Democrat freshman MP, Adjie Massaid, a former actor and footballer. Adjie died suddenly two years ago, after a futsal game, leaving her to care for their son and his two daughters from an earlier marriage.

Though the Democrats are still the largest parliamentary party, the scandal has collapsed their public standing, recent polls putting them third or even fourth.

Dr Yudhoyono's second and final term expires in October next year, but his party has scant hope of nominating a viable candidate for the presidential poll.

1 comment:


    No major corrupt politician has been prosecuted and jailed. The MACC is under the PM Najib's department- so don't hod your breath for any action! That is apart from murdered Mongolian lady, detained persons falling from tall building while in MACC custody!

    The boss of MACC has not yet resigned although he promised to....

    Malaysia - land of inscrutability opaqueness and unaccountability!

    The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) (Malay: Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia, (SPRM)) (Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) or Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR)) is a government agency in Malaysia that investigates and prosecutes corruption in the public and private sectors.

    The MACC was modeled after top anti-corruption agencies, such as the Independent Commission Against Corruption (Hong Kong) and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (New South Wales), Australia.

    The MACC is currently headed by Chief Commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed. He was appointed in January 2010 to replace former Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan.

    The agency is currently under the Prime Minister's Department.[1]

    There are five independent bodies that monitor the MACC to ensure its integrity and to protect citizens’ rights. These bodies are managed separately from other government offices in order to provide an independent perspective.

    The five bodies are: the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, the Special Committee on Corruption, the Complaints Committee, the Operations Review Panel, and the Corruption Consultation and Prevention Panel. [2]

    On Saturday, 31st July 2010, the MACC Chief, Abu Kassim Mohamed, pledged to resign if any graft reports were not investigated by his agency, including high profile cases involving government ministers.

    In a challenge Raja Petra Kamarudin, a popular online blogger and political activist began publishing what he claims are MACC copies of investigation reports against the former Anti-Corruption Agency chief Datuk Seri Zulkifly Mat Noor, National Civics Bureau (BTN) director-general Datuk Shagul Hamid Abdullah and former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo. Also included is a preliminary investigation report based on a report where Kulim assemblyman Lim Soo Nee claimed that he was offered a bribe to defect to Barisan Nasional coalition.

    Deaths in custody
    On July 16, 2009, Teoh Beng Hock was found dead on the 5th floor of Plaza Masalam after falling from the 14th floor after giving his statement to MACC officers in the Selangor MACC office in Shah Alam .[3] Beng Hock was the political aide to state assemblyman and executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah. Beng Hock was being questioned on an alleged corruption investigation involving Ean Yong. An inquest was held and the coroner returned an open verdict.[4] Following this, a Royal Commission of Inquiry was set up to ascertain the cause of death. The Royal Commission released their findings on July 21, 2011 deciding that Teoh Beng Hock had committed suicide. Teoh's family however refused to accept the findings and insists that he was actually murdered.[5]

    On April 6, 2011, Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed was found dead on the badminton court after falling from the 3rd floor of the Federal Territory MACC office in Kuala Lumpur.[6] Ahmad Sarbani was a customs officer based in Port Klang. He was alleged to be involved in a corruption investigation involving 62 customs officers.[7]


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