Indonesia Cabinet minister gets 12 years in COVID-19 graft

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s anti-graft court has sentenced a former Cabinet minister to 12 years in prison for bribery related to the distribution of coronavirus aid. Juliari Peter Batubara was arrested in December a day after an anticorruption commission foiled an attempt to hand over seven suitcases and backpacks containing $1.3 million in cash to ministry officials. The case drew a public outcry as Indonesia struggles to combat corruption and tackle the profound health and economic impact of the coronavirus. The court says Batubara accepted the bribes through subordinates in charge of procuring goods for the government’s social aid program. It says the suppliers were asked to set aside 70 cents for each food package distributed to the poor for Batubara’s benefit.

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