Home world Former Indonesian minister arrested over alleged graft involving over S$1m

Former Indonesian minister arrested over alleged graft involving over S$1m

Former Indonesian minister arrested over alleged graft involving over S$1m
Published October 13, 2023 Updated October 13, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

JAKARTA — A former Indonesian government minister has been arrested by the country’s anti-corruption commission, an official said on Friday (Oct 13), after a series of accusations including pocketing more than US$800,000 (S$1.1 million) in public funds.

Graft remains rampant in the archipelago nation, which ranked 110th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s latest corruption perception index.

Former agriculture minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo resigned last week because of the allegations levelled at him, and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) formally named him as a suspect on Wednesday.

He was detained on Thursday, with local media showing him being taken handcuffed into the commission’s offices in the capital Jakarta.

KPK spokesman Ali Fikri would not confirm if the commission had arrested Mr Limpo on formal charges, but he told reporters Thursday evening that the commission detained him because of concerns he would flee or destroy evidence.

He said KPK investigators were still questioning Mr Limpo on Friday.

“It is still ongoing. We will update… this afternoon,” Mr Fikri told AFP on Friday. 

Mr Fikri said Mr Limpo missed the commission’s summons on Wednesday for questioning, citing family reasons. 

He is the sixth minister to be investigated for corruption since President Joko Widodo took office in 2014.

The Indonesian leader told reporters Friday that “there must be reasons” for Mr Limpo’s arrest.

“Let us respect the legal proceedings,” he said, according to state news agency Antara.

Mr Limpo’s lawyer Febri Diansyah said in a statement that the KPK had sent two documents that were “very different in nature” on Wednesday — an arrest warrant and a letter summoning him to its offices on Friday for questioning.

“We don’t know what the KPK intended. Even after the legal team confirmed (he) would be present today, he was still arrested,” Mr Diansyah said.

The lawyer also told reporters late Thursday the former minister “would not run away”.

Mr Limpo is accused of forcing ministry officials to send him money from state coffers every month, using the cash to pay for credit card bills and instalments on a luxury car.

He is also accused of bribery and abuse of power “to enrich oneself or others” according to Indonesia’s anti-corruption law, the KPK said Wednesday. AFP