Anti-corruption watchdog detains relative of Indonesian president

Other News Materials 28 November 2008 07:18 (UTC +04:00)

Indonesia's anti-corruption watchdog arrested a relative of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in connection with the misappropriation of millions of dollars in bank funds, media reports said Friday, dpa reported.

After several hours of questioning, Aulia Tantowi Pohan, the father-in-law of Yudhoyono's son, was arrested Thursday in connection with an 8-million-dollar graft case at the country's central bank.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named Pohan a suspect in the corruption case on September 29. Since then, Pohan, a former deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, has undergone several rounds of questioning.

Along with Pohan, the commission also arrested three other former deputy governors of the central bank - Maman Sumantri, Bun Bunan Hutapea and Aslim Tadjudin - on similar charges, commission Chairman Antasari Azhar said.

"KPK is continuing investigating the case, and there is the possibility that others are involved," Azhar was quoted as saying by an the Media Indonesia newspaper.

Pohan has been accused of illegally transferring money to protect some of his former colleagues who were implicated in a bail-out scandal during the Asian financial crisis a decade ago.

The scandal centres on the disbursement of 100 billion rupiah (8 million dollars) from the central bank to finance the legal defence of five former central bank officials implicated in a Bank Indonesia liquidity support graft case and to bribe lawmakers to expedite an amendment to the central bank law.

In late October, former Bank Indonesia governor Burhanuddin Abdullah was sentenced to five years in prison in connection with the same graft case while two other former central bank officials were jailed to four years each on similar charges.