Top Indonesian judge arrested in corruption scandal


Indonesian anti-corruption investigators have arrested the constitutional court’s top judge for allegedly accepting a bribe of more than $250,000 in a case linked to a disputed election, an official said on Thursday.

Akil Mochtar was detained late Wednesday at his Jakarta home shortly after a businessman and a lawmaker allegedly handed him around three billion rupiah, said Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Johan Budi.

It is just the latest high-profile corruption case in Indonesia, one of the most graft-ridden countries in the world.

“The bribery was allegedly linked to a disputed election in Gunung Mas district on Borneo island,” said Budi.

The election happened on September 4. One of the constitutional court’s main roles is to decide on electoral disputes.

The lawmaker, from the Golkar party of former dictator Suharto, and businessman were also detained at Mochtar’s house, he said.

The head of Gunung Mas district and another man were arrested at a Jakarta hotel soon afterwards, added Budi.

“The questioning of the five men is still under way,” he added.

The case came less than two months after the powerful anti-graft agency detained the head of the country’s main energy regulator for allegedly accepting more than $600,000 in bribes.

Rudi Rubiandini, head of upstream oil and gas regulator SKK Migas, was arrested at his Jakarta home in mid-August with stacks of US and Singapore dollars in a black bag and small boxes, the KPK said.

The KPK has been granted extraordinary powers to investigate the rich and powerful in Indonesia, including wiretapping suspects and probing bank accounts.

But they face an uphill battle in a nation ranked 118th out of 176 in Transparency International’s list of least corrupt countries. AFP





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