Jakarta. Setya Novanto, a former spokeswoman for the House of Representatives who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for transplant, was transferred to the Gunung Sindur maximum security prison in Bogor after being taken to the car to meet his wife and go and do shopping during a leave from his former prison in Bandung.
A picture circulating on social media showed Novanto, wearing a short-sleeved shirt, a black hat and a surgical mask covering his face, in a shop in Padalarang, West Bandung, on Friday.
The shop was about 40 minutes drive from Santosa Hospital where Setya was supposed to meet his doctor.
Setya has been surprised many times to spy time out of Sukamiskin prison in Bandung, where he was serving his sentence together with some of the greatest Indonesian corrupters.
The prison authorities said that the former president of the Golkar party was allowed to leave Sukamiskin for a few hours at a time to take part in the trials – he witnessed another graft case – or to visit his doctor. Both times he managed to convince his guard to let him squeeze in some free time before returning to his block.
The authorities have obviously had enough of Setya's liberal interpretation of his temporary leave in prison. Liberti Sitinjak, head of the West Java office of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, said that Setya will now serve the rest of his sentence in a maximum security prison.
"On behalf of the regional office of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, I apologize to the public and other officials of the order forces. What happened today was our mistake," said Liberti a press conference at the end of Friday, as quoted by Antara agency.
The office transferred Setya to the Gunung Sindur prison – which housed some of the most important terrorist detainees in Indonesia – Friday night. He spent his first few hours in the maximum security prison questioned by officials to find out if he was colluding with prison guards or other officials to allow him time to walk freely outside the prison.
"We hope to complete the interrogation by Tuesday or Wednesday, we must know the true story," said Liberti, as quoted by Antara.
The ministry has worked hard to improve the reputation of Indonesian prison guards, known to be corrupt but often also underpaid to work in an overcrowded penitentiary system.
In April, the Commission for the eradication of corruption sent a former director to Sukamiskin, Wahid Husen, back to his old prison for accepting bribes from prisoners.