A country where prison convicts live like kings

Indonesian minister Yasonna Laoly

1. Travel overseas for top sporting events

In 2010 inmate Gayus Tambunan was photographed watching an international tennis tournament in Nusa Dua, Bali. He was serving time for serious tax crimes and fraud.

It emerged that he regularly used a false passport to travel overseas during his sentence, visiting Macau, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. He spent thousands of dollars bribing officers to enable this.

Writer Arswendo Atmowiloto, who was jailed for blasphemy in the 1990s, says it’s common practice for those with money to secure time out of prison

“There are legal ways that you can get out of jail to visit dying relatives, but people with money can regularly go in the morning and come back in the evening.”

Convicted Bali bomber Ali Imron was found in a Jakarta Starbucks in 2004. He was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Bali nightclub blasts that killed more than 200 people.

Jailed government official Mochtar Mohamad was found eating dinner at his favourite restaurant in Jakarta in 2014, while serving time for corruption.

2. A luxury cell, maids and beauty treatments

Tommy Suharto, the son of a former Indonesian president, was revealed to have had personal staff inside jail and used a helicopter landing pad to go on regular outings. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for masterminding the murder of a judge, but served just four years.

Businesswoman Artalyta Suryani had a private room with a widescreen television, bathroom, and a karaoke room in what local press described as a “palace in a jail”.

Artalyta Suryani living large in a prison

During the five years she served for bribing a judge, she was serviced by maids and received unlimited beauty treatments in her room.

Where she kept her baby

Her special treatment was revealed after the then President Suslio Bambang Yudhoyono visited her in prison. He promised an investigation, but the practice continues.

An investigation by local magazine Tempo, revealed a number of criminals serving sentences for corruption had secured special perks at the Sukamiskin prison in Bandung, West Java.

The Tempo investigation this week found that at LP Sukamiskin in Bandung, prisoners can renovate their rooms, order food from their favourite restaurants, and hold parties inside prison with popular singers as entertainment.

Minister for law and human rights Yasonna Laoly has made the promise  to investigate all prison officials found to be involved at the Sukamiskin prison in Bandung, West Java.

Striking his desk repeatedly, Mr Yasonna told guards: “I’m not playing around anymore – if you disgrace our profession and embarrass us all, it’s incredibly shameful. It’s not enough to just fire you – I will jail you!”

The practice of giving special treatment to inmates has long been an open secret in Indonesia

Credit Bbc


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