“A convict under the assimilation period can leave prison in the morning and go back to his or her cell before evening,” Sihabudin told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
A report was circulating on Twitter on Wednesday that Misbakhun, a former lawmaker from the Prosperous and Justice Party, was seen out with his wife in a Jakarta mall while many assumed he was in Salemba Penitentiary in Central Jakarta serving a two-year sentence.
An account under the name of @antonirizal77 tweeted at about 3 p.m., “Misbakhun wandering around at 14:35, when he should be in the detention center of the [police's] criminal investigation unit. He's at Riceball PlazIND,” referring to the Rice Bowl restaurant in Plaza Indonesia in Central Jakarta. He attached a photo on the tweet, depicting a person whom he said was Misbakhun chatting with a woman.
Sihabudin said he did not know whether the one being discussed on Twitter really was Misbakhun or not. “One thing’s for sure, Misbakhin was under the supervision of a guard while outside prison,” he claimed.
Convicts can enjoy assimilation periods provided they meet certain criteria.
According to the 1999 Justice Minister Regulation on Assimilation and Release on Parole, a convict should have done at least half of his or her jail term to be eligible for assimilation. The convict’s disciplinary record must also be clean for the last nine months.
Misbakhun has spent 15 months of his two-year sentence in prison. The Jakarta High Court found the politician guilty in January of using fictitious deeds to obtain credit from the ill-fated Bank Century.
The court approved an appeal by prosecutors, who demanded a longer prison term for Misbakhun after a lower court in November last year sentenced the politician to one year in jail.
The politician has been detained since April 2010, and may be released on parole in August.