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Two Will Get You Four

Appeal Court Doubles the Prison Penalty Imposed on Former North Bali Regent and His Subordinate

(7/5/2013) The Bali High Court has rejected an appeal of the 2-year prison sentence given to the former Regent of Buleleng in North Bali for corruption of land and building taxes amounting to Rp. 1.36 billion (US$136,000) during the periods of 2002-2007 and 2007-2012.

In reviewing the original two-year sentence handed down to former-regenct Putu Bagianda, the Court determined that sentence was too lenient and imposed an additional 2-years behind bars. The Court also doubled the original sentence of the chief of the region’s revenue department (Kadispenda), Nyoman Pastika, from 1 year to 2.

The decision was announced by the Court on Thursday, July 4, 2013. A spokesman for the Court told Nusa Bali: “The appeal resulted in longer sentences for both of the convicted corruptors, a fact that we have advised to the Singaraja Prosecutors Office."

In addition a doubling of the time to be served behind bars by both men, the Court increased the fine to be paid by Bagianda from Rp. 150 million to Rp. 200 million (US$20,000). Failure to pay the fine will result in an additional six months added to his  prison sentence.

The Court also upheld the lower Court’s decision that Bagianda must reimburse the state in Rp. 574.71 million (US$57,471) in State funds lost due to Bagianda’s crimes. Failure to make restitution will cause the personal assets of the former Regent to be seized and sold at auction. If the proceeds from the State Auction are insufficient to pay court-ordered restitution another 6 months will be added to the jail sentence.

Nyoman Pastika, who served as an assistant to Bagianda, saw his prison sentence increase from 1 year to 2 years.

The Higher Court found the original sentences “too light” given the losses suffered by the State due from the defendants’ corruption. Pastika’s was also ordered to pay a fine of Rp. 100 million (US$10,000) and reimburse the state Rp. 29.9 million (US$2,900) for losses he incurred.

State Prosecutors in Singaraja,who felt the original punishments handed down by the lower court on March 5, 2013, were inadequate to the crime, filed the appeal against the original sentence.

Bagianda, former Regent of Buleleng, entered prison in Singaraja on September 3, 2012, just two months after ending his second term as the region’s chief executive. Pastika, his asistant, began serving his sentence on August 16, 2012.