The Jakarta Globe, October 29, 2013.
Graft and money-laundering suspect Ahmad Fathanah broke down and wept at the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court on Monday as he asked judges to dismiss all charges against him — or at least hand down only a light sentence.
“The 17.5-year jail sentence that has been demanded makes my family — mainly my wives and children — feel shocked,” said Fathanah — an aide to the former Prosperous Justice Party president — his voice trembling voice as read out his 18-page statement.
Fathanah said that prosecutors had engaged in an assassination of his character that bordered on the abusive, and had painted him to look like a corrupter when he was, in fact, innocent of all charges.
“I felt tremendous moral and social punishment and what has been accused by the [Corruption Eradication Commission] KPK is not true,” he said, adding that the most difficult experience was to be away from his wives and children.
Fathanah is accused by prosecutors of receiving a Rp 1.3 billion ($117,000) bribe from beef-import company Indoguna Utama. The money was intended to be given to former PKS president Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq and formed part of the Rp 40 billion total to increase the PKS-controlled agriculture ministry’s beef-import quota by some 10,000 tons.
Fathanah is accused of laundering Rp 35 billion between Jan., 2011 to Jan., 2013.
“I hope the judges could free me of the charges,” Fathanah said. “Or at least hand down the lightest sentence.”
Fathanah said he was merely a friend of Luthfi — since 1986 — and that prosecutors had overestimated his involvement.
“I expect the judges to consider my defense,” he said. “I have wives and children.”
Fathanah’s third wife, dangdut singer Septy Sanustika, shed a tear from the visitors’ gallery.
“I can only pray and support him,” Septy said as quoted by Liputan6. “Hopefully he will get the best ruling.”