Leading anti-graft official arrested

By Agencies In Jakarta, Indonesia ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-01-24 08:03:50

An official of Indonesia's top corruption-fighting body was arrested on Friday, days after he said a national police chief hopeful was a graft suspect, sparking public demands for the country's president to defend the body.

Bambang Widjojanto, 55, a deputy head of the Corruption Eradication Commission, was arrested near the capital, Jakarta, for alleged false testimony while dealing with a regional election dispute as a lawyer before a court in 2010, said National Police spokesman Major General Ronny Franky Sompie.

"We have enough evidence that he asked a witness to provide a false report before the court," Sompie told reporters.

The arrest came after Widjojanto and commission head Abraham Samad declared that Lieutenant General Budi Gunawan was a graft suspect, just a day before Parliament was to hold a confirmation hearing on his nomination. Parliament still endorsed his nomination.

President Joko "Jokowi"

Widodo nominated Gunawan two weeks ago to be the next national police chief to replace General Sutarman, who retires in October. His candidacy has been challenged by anti-graft activists.

Gunawan is a former supporter of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, the chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, which nominated Widodo for president.

Last year, the commission started investigating $4.3 million in Gunawan's bank accounts, and Widjojanto and Samad have said they have evidence the money might be related to criminal offenses such as bribes and gratuities.

Jokowi announced last week that he had postponed the decision to appoint Gunawan as police chief because he was being investigated by the commission.

Legal expert Zainal Arifin Mochtar told TV One in a live interview that he suspects that the police act is not purely an effort to enforce the law.

AP - Xinhua

(China Daily 01/24/2015 page11)

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