(JakartaGlobe) – The relatively light jail sentence for graft convict Angelina Sondakh was a slap on the wrist that will set a bad precedent and will not serve as a deterrent for corrupt politicians, an analyst says.
“The light sentence will not teach anybody a good lesson, especially when everybody knows that these were major offenses,” Saleh Daulay, a political analyst from State Islamic University (UIN) Syarif Hidayatullah, said on Friday.
Saleh said it was not surprising to see many people questioning the 4.5-year jail sentence and the Rp 250 million ($26,000) fine — a far cry from the 12-year sentence and the Rp 32.5 billion compensation sought by prosecutors.
The former deputy secretary general of the Democratic Party was found guilty over her role in two corruption cases, believed to have cost the state $3.6 million in losses.
“The judges seem to have bowed to political pressure and handed down a light sentence against Angie,” Saleh said, referring to Angelina by her nickname.
He added that the light sentence could also reduce public confidence in corruption courts especially since Angelina wasn’t cooperative during her trial.
“The main goal in handing out a sentence is that it should serve as a deterrent to both the defendant and [others].”
Meanwhile, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, also chairman of the Democratic Party’s board of advisers, said he respected the court ruling.
Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said that the president also hoped that Angelina would accept the sentence.