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Indonesia Police Names Anti-Graft Chief As Suspect In Alleged Extortion

The Head of Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency has been named as a suspect in an extortion case involving an ex-minister who was arrested last month on graft charges.

Firli Bahuri, head of the Corruption Eradication Commission, is the latest official in President Joko Widodo’s administration to face graft charges.

According to reports, Firli, a former police inspector general, is suspected of extorting money from Syahrul Limpo, the former agriculture minister who was arrested in a corruption case last month.

According to a police official, whose name isn't disclosed, there is "sufficient evidence" to suggest that the chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (popularly known as KPK) was involved in a corruption case involving extortion. It is alleged that the chairman received money from the Ministry of Agriculture between the years of 2020 and 2023. The official stated that this was a "grave crime" and that the KPK chairman had abused his authority and violated the law.

The authorities in Singapore confiscated documents related to foreign currency transactions as well as US dollars worth 7.4 billion rupiah (approximately USD 477,730) from two locations during raids, says Ade, the police spokesperson. However, the police did not provide any further information about the ongoing investigation.

Corruption convictions for state officials can result in a life sentence in prison, he added.

Under the law, the president must temporarily suspend any KPK chairman who is named as a criminal suspect. When asked about Firli's status as a suspect, the president stated that he would “respect the process of law.”

According to the report, Firli was appointed KPK chief in 2019, around the same time that critics claimed changes to the law governing the agency had weakened it, sparking a series of “save the KPK” protests.

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