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Former Deputy-Governor of Bali: Mea Culpa!

Former Deputy Governor Admits Guilt and Pleads for Leniency in Rp. 150 Billion Land Fraud Case.

Bali’s former Deputy-Governor from 2013-2018, I Ketut Sudikerta (53), currently under trial for fraud in the sale of land valued at Rp. 150 billion, has admitted his guilt and asked for mercy during a court proceeding at the Denpasar Court on Thursday, December 5, 2019.

Under cross-examination for causing losses of Rp. 150 billion to Alim Markus, the owner of PT Maspion, Sudikerta admitted his criminality and begged for leniency in his coming sentencing.

As reported by NusaBali, Sudikerta told the court that he had no desire to commit the crime with which he is now charged. “I regret that and was wrong to perform (the illegal transaction). If I knew I would end up like this, I would not have done the property transaction.” 

In addition to admitting his guilt, Sudikerta asked the Court to render a light sentence in the coming punishment phase. Adding: “I have a wife and three children. I am the backbone of my family. Because of this, I ask for leniency from the Prosecutor and the Panel of Judges.”

In further mitigation, Sudikerta told the court that during his period of service as the Regent of Badung (2005-2013) and as Deputy-Governor (2013-2018) he helped design the Bali Mandara Toll Road connecting Sanur-Bali’s Airport-Nusa Dua. “I was the one who designed the Jalan Toll Bali Mandara. After I met with Jusuf Kalla, the Toll Road could (finally) be built,” explained Sudikerta.

During the same court session, the council of judges asked Sudikerta about his desire to reimburse the Rp. 150 billion losses suffered by Alim Markus in the land transaction. In response, he told the court that he was in the process of trying to sell assets he holds on Balangan Beach to reimburse Markus when he was arrested.

Moreover, Sudikerta blamed his present situation on his readiness to blindly follow the instructions given by Henry Kaunang of the Maspion Group. Sudikerta explained that from the initial meeting with Markus, the creation of a PT Company, the actual transaction, and the eventual cancellation of the deal – all had been staged by Henry Kaunang, with Sudikerta claiming he just did sd he was told.

Sudikerta rejected the details of the case presented by the Public Prosecutor who said the Deputy-Governor attended a meeting with the National Land Authority (BPN) to discuss a piece of land he owned on Balangan Beach. Sudikerta said: “I did meet with the Badung BTN office, but that was not to discuss the temple land. That meeting was to discuss assets owned by the Regency of Badung.”

Sudikerta also commented on the shop site that became the office of Attorney Togar Situmorang on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai in Sanur that has now been seized by government officials. The Defendant insisted that the office had been purchased with his personal funds, after selling other personal assets. “It is not true that I used Maspion money to purchase that office.” He said.

Upon hearing Sudikerta make this claim, Public Prosecutor Eddy Art Wijaya angrily declared, “If you can prove that you didn’t use money fraudulently obtained (to buy the office), we will return the seized office building.”

When asked by a member of the panel of judges how the nearly Rp. 150 billion received by PT Pecatu Bangun Gemilang was used, Sudikerta explained that the money was used to pay existing financial obligations. The same judge then asked Sudikerta what was his official capacity at PT Pecatu Bangun Gemilang that empowered him to disburse such a large sum of money. Sudikerta responded, “I asked permission from the directors to take the money to pay financial obligations of the Company and was granted permission to do so.”

Public Prosecutors are scheduled to make sentencing demands in the trial during the second week of December 2019.

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