Ex-leader of Indonesia's ruling party gets 8 years in jail for corruption, money laundering

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — A former top leader of Indonesia's ruling Democratic Party was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday for corruption and money laundering.

A five-member panel of the anti-graft Corruption Court found Anas Urbaningrum guilty of accepting money and property as bribes while arranging construction contracts for government-funded projects, such as a $122 million sports complex in West Java.

Urbaningrum also must pay a $25,000 fine or serve three more months in jail.

The panel also ordered him to repay more than $10 million he wrongly accepted, once the verdict is final.

Otherwise, his properties will be confiscated and sold, said presiding judge Haswandi, who uses a single name. If the properties are not enough, the sentence would be increased by two more years, the judge said.

Urbaningrum and state prosecutors, who sought 15-year jail term, have not yet decided whether to appeal to the higher court.

Urbaningrum was elected in 2010 as general chairman of the party, but resigned last February after being named a corruption suspect.

The party's chairmanship was later taken over by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. His government leaves office next month.

Three Cabinet ministers in the Yudhoyono government have been named as corruption suspects, and endemic graft in Indonesia has been blamed for deterring foreign investment.

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