By Ainur Rohmah
An Indonesian court on Tuesday sentenced former Speaker of Parliament Setya Novanto to 15 years in prison for his involvement in a multi-million-dollar graft case.
Judge Franky Tambuwun said Novanto had abused his authority and position in the budgeting and procurement process of an identity card scheme.
Tambuwun said Novanto received $7.3 million and a $135,000 Richard Mille watch as bribe.
Novanto was also fined for $37,000 and banned from holding any public office for five years. He is also required to return the $7.3 million that he plundered.
During the trial, Novanto pleaded not guilty and said he is considering to file an appeal.
The former speaker, who was once described as "powerful" and "great" by U.S. President Donald Trump, is among several senior politicians accused of receiving money from the scheme.
The scandal came to light in 2017 and is estimated to have cost taxpayers around $170 million.
The identity card program was launched in 2011 with the aim of providing greater data security and efficiency to Indonesia's more than 250 million inhabitants.
According to investigators, around half of the project's 5.8 trillion Indonesian rupiah ($434 million) budget was divided between 37 people, including Novanto and 23 other members of the House of Representatives.
Novanto was temporarily forced to step down as house speaker over corruption allegations in 2015 after he was caught seeking shares worth billions of dollars from a U.S. mining company.
He was cleared of charges and returned as speaker, a role he quit again on December 2017.