Indonesian official gets 5 years for corruption

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s anti-graft court sentenced a former senior Health Ministry official to five years in jail for involvement in an embezzlement scandal involving the procurement of equipment to battle bird flu.

Ratna Dewi Umar, the ministry’s former director of medical services, was found guilty on Monday of marking up the cost of equipment purchased in 2007 for an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus, resulting in a loss to the government of $1.2 million.

The Corruption Court also ordered her to pay a fine of $45,000 or face an additional three months in prison.

The equipment was used in a crisis response center set up by the ministry to deal with bird flu.

She denied any wrongdoing, telling the court she was carrying out orders from her boss, former Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari.

Police named Supari as a suspect last year, but she has not been charged. Supari, who was health minister from 2004 to 2009, told the Corruption Eradication Commission last year that she did not know the purchases were anomalous.

In another high-profile corruption case Tuesday, the court sentenced Maj. Gen. Djoko Susilo, former chief of the National Police Traffic Unit, to 10 years in prison over the procurement of driving simulators.

Susilo, the first active police general to be detained in a corruption case by the commission, was found guilty of accepting a $2.9 million bribe from the company awarded the contract for the simulators.

He also was ordered to pay a fine of $45,000 or face an additional six months in jail.

The advocacy group Transparency International regularly lists Indonesia as among the most corrupt nations.

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