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Life in jail for Indonesia's corrupt former top judge

JAKARTA -- An anti-graft court has sentenced Indonesia's former top judge to life imprisonment for corruption and money laundering.

Akil Mochtar was chief of the Constitutional Court when the Corruption Eradication Commission captured him red-handed last October for accepting bribes to fix the results of two local elections.

In a verdict handed down late Monday, a five-member panel at the anti-corruption court found him guilty of receiving bribes of more than US$3.37 million in relation to disputes in elections for district and provincial chiefs.

It was revealed during the trial that Mochtar had received bribes to fix results of at least 10 local elections.

Presiding judge Suwidya said there was no reason to reject the maximum life sentence sought by prosecutors, since the defendant's deeds tarnished the image of the Constitutional Court as the highest state institution.

The panel rejected the prosecutors' demand that the defendant pay a fine of US$840,000, saying it had handed down the maximum penalty for the crime.

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