Politics


Indonesia: President to suspend anti-corruption chief




Jakarta, 7 May (AKI/Jakarta Post) - Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday was expected to endorse the suspension of anti-corruption chief Antasari Azhar who has been accused of murder.

Azhar head of the country's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is a suspect in the murder of a prominent business executive and was questioned by Indonesian police on Monday.

Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, a former director of a state-owned business, was shot dead in March.

The independent agency, known as the KPK, was set up in 2003 to lead a huge push by Yudhoyono in fighting corruption.

Yudhoyono is reported to have received an official letter from police regarding Antasari's status as a suspect in the murder of Nasruddin Zulkarnaen, who was director of PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran.

According to the 2002 law regarding the KPK, leaders of the commission who are officially named as suspects in a crime must be temporarily dismissed from their posts.

This is different from other state officials who are only dismissed if they are convicted by a court.

To enable the KPK to continue its investigations, the four deputy chairmen of the anti-graft body decided last Saturday to suspend Antasari from his post.

After eight-hours of questioning on Wednesday — the third day since Antasari was placed under arrest at the Jakarta police detention centre — his lawyers claimed none of Antasari's answers were solid enough to link him to the murder of Nasruddin.

"We didn't find any motive," lawyer M. Assegaf said.

"He was charged with Article 340 [on premeditated murder] of the Criminal Code. There should be a motive. The police questioned him about that," he added.

Antasari's other lawyer, Juniver Girsang, said his client told the police he knew Rani Juliani, Nasruddin's alleged third wife.

Our client met her at the golf course when he was still working at the attorney-general's office three years ago,” Juniver said.

He said Antasari had met her again afterwards but quickly added that the meeting was brief and had no romantic connotation.

Indonesia has one of the worst corruption ratings in the world, according to Transparency International.




 

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