Channel NewsAsia

Indonesia ex-sports minister jailed in US$40m graft case

Indonesia's former sports minister was jailed for four years on Friday over a $40-million corruption case, the latest sentencing to have hit the popularity of the outgoing government.

JAKARTA: Indonesia's former sports minister was jailed for four years on Friday over a $40-million corruption case, the latest sentencing to have hit the popularity of the outgoing government.

Andi Mallarangeng, who had been considered an up-and-coming politician, accepted more than $700,000 in bribes to favour a particular bidder to construct a sports stadium on the main island of Java, according to prosecutors.

The stadium was supposed to be a first-class training centre for Indonesian athletes but its construction was never completed after it became bogged down in corruption, with the loss to the state estimated at around $40 million, according to prosecutors.

At Friday's hearing in a special anti-corruption court in the capital Jakarta, chief judge Haswandi said that Mallarangeng, who was sports and youth minister, had been proven guilty of corruption and abuse of power.

He received kickbacks through his brother, and was also found to have enriched other people and several companies in the corrupt scheme, said the judge, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

"His deeds was against the government program in eradicating the corruption, collusion and nepotism," the judge said.

As well as the four-year jail term, Mallarangeng was also ordered to pay a fine of 200 million rupiah ($17,000) or serve an extra two months in jail.

However, the sentence was shorter than the 10 years demanded by prosecutors. Mallarangeng said he would file an appeal.

Mallarangeng, 51, is the latest in a string of senior figures from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party to become embroiled in graft scandals.

The treasurer and chairman from Yudhoyono's party have both been linked to them, while the religion minister -- who is from a different party -- quit his post in May over corruption.

The flood of scandals contributed to a huge fall in support for the Democratic Party at legislative elections in April, when their support halved to around 10 per cent.

Yudhoyono steps down in October after a decade in power.

Indonesia is ranked 114th out of 177 countries and territories in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. A number one ranking means the least corrupt.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia