INDONESIA: CONSTITUTION COURT PROPOSES DEATH PENALTY FOR CORRUPTORS
October 15, 2010: Indonesia needs to follow China's example and sentence officials convicted of corruption to death in order to stamp out massive graft in the country, a top judge said.
Indonesia's current sentences for corruption are too soft and do nothing to deter corrupt officials, said Mohammad Mahfud, the chief justice of the Constitutional Court.
Officials "are sentenced to only three to four year in jail, which is lighter than sentences given to petty criminals," Mahfud said.
He advocated the use of a provision in Indonesia's Anti-Corruption Law that allows judges to sentence convicts to death. It has never been used.
"In China, which carries out the death sentence for those convicted of corruption charges, there is a deterrent effect," he said. "If death sentences were used in Indonesia for corruption, it would reduce the cases."
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been widely credited for the success of an anti-corruption campaign that started after he took office in 2004. Scores of corrupt politicians, entrepreneurs and law enforcement officials have been tried and convicted, including the father-in-law of one of the Yudhoyono's sons.
According to advocacy group Transparency International's corruption index, Indonesia ranks 111th out of 180 countries. (Sources: Xinhua, Ap, 15/10/2010)