JAKARTA -- An Indonesian anti-corruption court
on Thursday jailed a second employee of the local
subsidiary of US energy giant Chevron, in a case that has
alarmed foreign investors.
The two Indonesian employees, one of whom was
sentenced Wednesday, were each jailed for two years over a
project to decontaminate 28 plots of land, which prosecutors
argued was a fake project and had caused losses to the
On Thursday the court sentenced manager Endah
Rumbiyanti for "failing to carry out her obligations", a lapse
which it said unfairly benefited two contractors.
On Wednesday the same court sentenced another
manager, Kukuh Kertasafari, for poor oversight of the
Defense lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis told
AFP after the first verdict that they would appeal to
a higher anti-corruption court and international arbitration
was an option.
Prosecutors from the attorney-general's office
argued that the two companies which were contracted to carry
out the clean-up had no qualifications or permits.
They also said the land was never contaminated
in any case, and the project had cost the state millions
Chevron, the country's biggest crude oil
producer, denies the accusations and said the clean-up project
had been given government approval before it began.
Another lawyer for Chevron, Maqdir Ismail, said
Thursday's decision "defies logic" and the trial was intended
"to punish, not to find justice".
Directors of the two contractors have already
been jailed and two other other Chevron employees are awaiting
verdicts, with one of them expected Friday.
Mr. Lubis said the clean-up project was part of a
production-sharing contract (PSC) with the government, under
which breaches should not be treated criminally and should be
settled out of court.
It is highly unusual for the attorney general's
office to intervene in such agreements.
The case has sparked concern among foreign
energy companies and investors, who have battled fast-changing
industry regulations and legal uncertainty in recent years.
Analysts fear it could scare off much-need
investment in the oil sector after the country slipped from
being a net exporter to an importer.
AFP (via Dow Jones