Chevron: dissapointed with Indonesian court
California-headquartered Chevron also warned that the ruling will undermine willingness to invest in what is one of Asia’s key emerging markets, reports the Financial Times.
The case centred on Ricksy Prematuri, a director of Green Planet Indonesia, who was convicted of corruption earlier this week for his role in an environmental project at a Chevron oilfield in Sumatra. He was also fined Rp200m ($20,500) in addition to his jail sentence.
A further four Chevron managers and another contractor still remain on trial following allegations that assignments to remove toxic substances from soil were not carried out.
Andrew White, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, said that the Chevron case could see interest in the country cool. ‘Here is a company with a verifiable project that has won many awards. It seems the attorney-general was determined to bring a case against this company. If this can happen to Chevron it could happen to anybody,’ he said.
Chevron itself said that its project was lawful and that it was ‘very disappointed’ with the verdict, claiming that the panel of judges had ‘not made a fair and objective view of the facts’.
According to the FT, a spokesman for the attorney-general’s office - which had sought a sentence of 12 years in prison - said it would appeal for a longer jail term. He also said the trial process, which saw one judge issue a dissenting verdict, had been conducted properly in accordance with all laws and regulations.