Indonesian actor-turned-governor Zumi Zola sentenced to 6 years for corruption, political rights revoked

Indonesian actor-turned-politician Zumi Zola. Photo: Instagram

Non-active Jambi Governor Zumi Zola (who will be officially removed from his post anytime now after this) was today sentenced to six years in prison by the Corruption Court in Jakarta for his role in a huge bribery scandal in the Sumatran province.

As reported by Kompas, Zumi, who was a renowned actor before going into politics, was found guilty of violating the country’s anti-corruption laws by the court, which also ordered him to pay a fine of IDR500 million (US$34,000) in lieu of an additional three-month prison sentence.

In addition, the court revoked Zumi’s political rights for five years, which will come into effect at the conclusion of his sentence.

The court previously heard that Zumi bribed 53 Jambi Regional Council members IDR16.34 billion to influence the deliberations of the 2017 and 2018 provincial budgets. Zumi also received more than IDR40 billion worth of “gratification” related to infrastructure projects in Jambi since he came into office in 2016. He reportedly spent some of that money on buying Marvel action figures.

Zumi’s sentence is lighter than the eight years demanded by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors. While it’s not yet known if prosecutors will appeal the decision, Zumi admitted his guilt and accepted his sentence after it was read out in court.

Aside from the corruption, Zumi, 38, has repeatedly made national headlines for all the wrong reasons, including being involved in an extramarital affair with the wife of a businessman, causing them to split.

Zumi was also the subject of a viral video in 2016, in which he — already a governor at that point — gave a speech during the 212 protest in Jambi against then-Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama for blasphemy, saying, “Of course we as Muslims, as a Muslim people, when our religion is attacked, when our religion is tainted by certain individuals, it is mandatory to defend [our religion].”

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