Indonesia detains lawmaker, deputy governor in graft case

Other News Materials 18 April 2008 08:27 (UTC +04:00)

Indonesia's anti-corruption watchdog has arrested a lawmaker and deputy governor for their alleged involvement in the misappropriation of about 11 million dollars of central bank funds, media reports said Friday. ( dpa )

Legislator Hamka Yamdu and Anthony Zeidra Abidin, the deputy governor of Riau province in eastern Sumatra, were brought to detention centres in Jakarta Thursday after hours of questioning, the Kompas newspaper reported.

Yamdu and Abidin were named suspects last week by the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, in the case.

The two suspects are members of the Golkar party, used by the late dictator Suharto as his political horse to run the country for more than 30 years.

Commission spokesman Johan Budi was quoted as saying that the two suspects were charged with violating anti-corruption laws, an offence punishable by up to five years in prison.

Five suspects have now been detained in connection with the case. The other three suspects are Bank Indonesia's governor, Burhanuddin Abdullah, and two other central bank officials, Rusli Simanuntak and Oey Hoey Tiong. They were accused of spending about a third of the 100 billion rupiah to bribe politicians in 2004.

The remaining money was suspected of being used to hire lawyers to settle cases against the bank brought in 2003 and 2004 over funds it handed out during the liquidity crunch of 1998.

"It is possible for the KPK to name more suspects as long as we have enough evidence," the Jakarta Post quoted Budi as saying.

The anti-graft agency has the power to make arrests, take over investigations from the police and fast-track sensitive cases.

Since President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's high-profile anti-graft campaign started, officials ranging from governors and former ministers have been jailed on corruption charges.

But some critics argued that the campaign has not taken on some powerful interests and the administration has not always been on the same page on the issue.