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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

‘Blue energy’ fraudster gets 3.5 years in jail

The man behind the so-called “blue energy” alternative energy scheme, Djoko Suprapto, was sentened Thursday by the Bantul District Court to three-and-a-half years in prison for fraud.

The panel of judges, led by presiding judge Purwono, handed down a lighter sentence than the four-year sentence prosecutors had called for.

The judges, basing their verdict on testimonies from 27 witnesses, said Djoko was guilty of committing fraud in an alternative energy generating project called Djodipati and a refinery he had claimed could turn water into fuel.

Djoko claimed his Djodipati generator had a capacity of 3 megavolts and would be able to cut down the annual electricity bill of Yogyakarta’s Muhammadiyah University (UMY) – which commissioned and financed the project – from Rp 1 billion (US$89,700) to Rp 500 million.

However, Djoko failed to get the chimerical power generator up and running, even after the university set deadline had passed.

Experts found later that Djodipati was neither really a power generator nor a stabilizer. It contained only coils and cement.

The dismantling of Djodipati also involved experts state electricity firm PT PLN and the National Atomic Agency (Batan), after Djoko warned that dismantling it would cause a radiation leak unless he was allowed to do it himself.

As for the refinery, it turned out to contain liquid asphalt.

The UMY paid Rp 1.345 billion (US$120,000) through five bank transfers to Djoko for the project.

Djoko even presented his findings to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last year, convincing hom to set up a special team to develop the project and invest billions of rupiah of state money in it.

The judges also ordered Djoko’s immediate detention.


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