[JURIST] An Indonesian court Monday sentenced former legislator Al Amien Nur Nasution to eight years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $23,000 in fines in connection with bribery and blackmail charges. The court found Al Amien, former member of the House of Representatives agricultural and forestry commission, guilty of receiving kickbacks [Jakarta Post report] from local businessmen for securing House approval of several forest conservation projects as well as for blackmailing several companies in order to obtain a global positioning system (GPS), gas stations, and sanitation equipment for the Forestry Ministry. The court dismissed allegations [Jakarta Post report] that Al Amien influenced a House commission decision to go through with the conservation project. Al Amien has said he will appeal the verdict.
Several other former members of the House commission for forestry and agricultural affairs have also been implicated. In September, former commission member Sarjan Tahir was sentenced to twenty years [Jakarta Post report] for his role in one of the conservation bribery schemes.