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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Indonesia law enforcement officials resign amid corruption scandal
Haley Wojdowski at 11:46 AM ET

[JURIST] Two senior Indonesian law enforcement officials resigned Thursday after being linked to an alleged plot to weaken the Corruption Eradication Commisions (KPK) [official website, in Indonesian], an anti-corruption agency. Deputy Attorney General Abdul Hakim Ritonga and Chief Detective Susno Duadjia were mentioned by name [Jakarta Globe report] in a tape recorded conversation about a plan to fabricate charges [Al Jazeera report] against KPK leaders. The tapes were released by the KPK [press release, in Indonesian] and played as part of the defense of two KPK officials, Chandra Hamzah and Bibit Samad Riyanto, during nationally televised court proceedings. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [official profile] said that more resignations or suspensions may be forthcoming since he advised law enforcement officials to suspend [BBC report] those whose names were mentioned in the tapes.

In October 2008, an Indonesian court sentenced [JURIST report] former Bank Indonesia (BI) [official website] chief Burhanuddin Abdullah to five years in prison on corruption charges for knowingly approving the misappropriation of $10 million of the central bank's funds as the result of an investigation by the KPK. The KPK began investigating the Indonesian Supreme Court [JURIST report] for suspected embezzlement in June 2008. Yudhoyono was elected [BBC report] in October 2004 on an anti-corruption platform and has since struggled to rein-in corruption [JURIST report] in Indonesia's judicial system. In 2006, World Bank officials called judicial corruption one of the biggest challenges [JURIST report] for Indonesia, and anti-corruption group Transparency International [official website] has since said that the country is perceived as one of the most corrupt [rankings list; regional analysis, PDF] worldwide.

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