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Sunday, June 5, 2011

IP Judge caught red handed

Indonesia's continued battle against corruption is most evident when instances of judicial corruption appear. This week the Corruption Eradication Commission arrested Judge Syarifuddin (pictured) from the Central Jakarta District Court, in possession of some USD26,000 equivalent. He had apparently received the money to ensure certain bankruptcy assets were sold. Investigators found large sums of cash in various currencies in his house.

IP cases are heard in the same chamber as bankruptcy cases - called the Commercial Court. A review of case records showed that this judge heard a number of IP cases in recent years including cases involving the following brands -

CALIFORNIA SCENTS, KRONOTEX, D&G/ DOLCE & GABBANA and HTC.

Despite apaprently widespread use of bribes to seek decisions in favour of parties in judicial proceedings, only one judge has been successfully prosecuted so far. In recent years, IP Komodo noticed that IP cases have become more consistent and higher quality, so was beginning to hope that the judiciary was cleaning up. There are steps that parties can take to reduce the risks of the other side attempting to influence the judge. But this arrest reinforces that parties need to be vigilant and proactive.

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