Chief of Indonesia's election commission sentenced to jail in graft scandal

The chief of Indonesia's election commission was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in jail for taking part in a multimillion corruption scandal during last year's historic polls, judges said. The case against Nazaruddin Syamsudin is seen as a test of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's commitment to stamp out corruption, which remains endemic across the sprawling country.

Presiding judge Kresna Menon said Nazaruddin was guilty of taking thousands of dollars (euros) in kickbacks to ensure a supplier got the contract to provide ink, ballot papers and boxes during the 2004 presidential election.

"Therefore the panel of judges is sentencing the defendant to seven years in jail," he said, adding that Nazaruddin also would be fined. In all, investigations revealed that private companies paid the election commission 20 billion rupiah (US$2.1 million; Ђ1.7 million) to ensure contracts to supply the parliament and presidential elections with voting materials, reports the AP. I.L.

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