Indonesia's ex-Bank Mandiri execs jailed for graft

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JAKARTA, Sep 14 (Reuters) Three former executives of Bank Mandiri , Indonesia's largest lender, were sentenced to 10 years in jail for corruption, a Supreme Court official said today.

Andi Samsan Nganro, head of the South Jakarta court, said by telephone that the court had found the three guilty on corruption charges and handed down 10 year jail terms, adding each would also have to pay 500 million rupiah 53,190 dollars.

A lawyer for the three -- Edward Neloe, the state-controlled bank's former CEO, and two ex-directors, I Wayan Pugeg and M Sholeh Tasripan -- said he would apply for a judicial review of the case if his clients asked for it.

''This is a super-quick execution. I was shocked with the ruling,'' said O C Kaligis, the lawyer, adding Neloe had been taken to jail even before being informed of the ruling.

Last year, an Indonesian court acquitted the three bankers.

They had then sought to clear their names, while the state had appealed the acquittal.

The trial has attracted considerable attention as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who came to power in 2004, has promised to clamp down on graft in a country that is regularly rated one of the world's most corrupt.

Prosecutors launched an investigation into Mandiri after the State Audit Agency reported in March 2005 that the bank had more than 210 million dollars of problem loans.

Neloe, 62, and the two ex-directors, stood trial in October 2005 charged with causing losses to the state of 18.5 million dollars as a result of lending to a property firm, PT Cipta Graha Nusantara.

Neloe, a former head of petrochemicals firm PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Center, spent most of his banking career at Bank Dagang Negara, one of the state banks eventually merged to form Mandiri.


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