Indonesia police name anti-graft agency chief as suspect in alleged graft case

Indonesia police name anti-graft agency chief as suspect in alleged graft case
Indonesia police name anti-graft agency chief as suspect in alleged graft case

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Indonesia’s police this week named the chief of the country’s anti-corruption agency, Firli Bahuri, as a suspect for alleged extortion, another setback in the once-prized government institution. — Reuters pic/Antara Foto/M Risyal Hidayat

JAKARTA, Nov 23 — Indonesia’s police this week named the chief of the country’s anti-corruption agency, Firli Bahuri, as a suspect for alleged extortion or receiving kickbacks, another setback in the once-prized government institution.

Firli, a former police inspector general, is a suspect in alleged extortion of money from Syahrul Yasin Limpo, the ex-agriculture minister who was arrested after being named a suspect in a corruption case last month, authorities have said.

Ade Safri Simanjuntak, a Jakarta police official, told reporters late on Wednesday that there has been “sufficient evidence to name ... the KPK chief as a suspect in a corruption case in the form of extortion.”

He said a state official extorted money at the agriculture ministry from 2020-2023.

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Authorities had confiscated exchange transaction documents from Singapore and US dollars worth 7.4 billion rupiah (RM2.2 million) from raids at two locations, Ade added.

Firli did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has not been arrested.

He said in a press conference on Monday prior to being a named a suspect that he has “never extorted anyone, and I’ve never been involved in a bribery...with anyone.”

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The Corruption Eradication Commission, known by its Indonesian initials, KPK, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Joko Widodo said on Thursday “to respect the process of law” when asked about Firli being named a suspect.

Firli was named the KPK chief in 2019, around the same time critics said changes to the law governing the agency had weakened it, triggering a series of “save the KPK” protests.

KPK has prosecuted hundreds of politicians, officials, and businessmen since its formation in 2002, becoming one of the country’s most respected agencies. — Reuters

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