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Jembrana’s Former Bupati Declared ‘Not Naughty'

Former Jembrana Regent Winasa Declared ‘Not Guilty” of Embezzling Funds in Bali Compost Production Facility Project.

(7/2/2011) The former two-term regent of Jembrana, I Gede Winasa, has been completely acquitted of all criminal charges of corruption in connection with the construction of a compost processing facility in 2006.

According to Beritabali.com, the former two-term regional leaders of Jembrana learned of his acquittal in a decision read by presiding judge Yuli Atmaningsih at proceedings held in Negara, Bali on Friday, July 1, 2011.

The panel of judges ruled that Winasa was innocent of all charges filed by state prosecutors in the case. The jurists found that any misuse of public funds in connection with the project were not the responsibility of the defendant serving as regent at the time, but were, instead, the responsibility of the regency's Regional Working Unit (SKPD).

Regarding the presence of Winasa’s signature on the construction contract for the compost facility project, the judges accepted the regent’s argumentation that his “signing off” on the work contact was little more than an administrative control.

The judges also accepted Winasa’s defense that funds flowing into his personal bank account at the time and suspected of being payments for corruption, were actually the proceeds of a the sale of a vehicle and land to Kazuyuki Tsurumi.

Prosecutors are taking under advisement whether or not to not to appeal the acquittal of Winasa in a case in which they were seeking 6 years of imprisonment, a fine of Rp. 500 million (US$56,800) and an order to repay the state Rp. 2.9 billion (US$330,000) in damages.