Indonesia Launches Special Jail for The Corrupt
Indonesia on Tuesday launched a special jail for those charged or convicted in graft cases handled by the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Prison authorities have come in for considerable criticism in the past for allowing wealthy or influential prisoners to live in considerable luxury, with karaoke suites, personal attendants and masseuses and even mobile phones provided in exchange for bribes.
The country’s prisons are also typically overcrowded. “There is a common problem of overcrowding in our prisons,” said Martua Batubara, the Justice and Human Rights Ministry’s spokesman, adding that the safety of the more affluent convicts, such as those found guilty of corruption, was a
“We cannot mix criminal convicts with corrupt convicts if their safety is at risk” he said. “In prisons you will not get comfort, however safety is important.”
The new three-storey detention centre for the corrupt, built alongside an existing prison in east Jakarta, is designed to hold over 250 people. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, re-elected last year partly on a promise of tackling graft, is trying to push forward an anti-corruption agenda in order to attract foreign investment in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
In January, Indonesians were outraged when a presidential anti-graft task force discovered that Artalyta Suryani, a businesswoman convicted of bribing a prosecutor, had a private prison cell with a queen-sized bed, TV set and air conditioner, as well as access to a karaoke room.