Malaysiakini News

Indonesian speaker named suspect in corruption case

dpa  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Indonesia's anti-corruption commission has named the speaker of the country's parliament as a suspect in a huge corruption case, its spokesman said Tuesday.

Setya Novanto is suspected to have "illegally enriched himself or other people" in a US$440 million government project to make electronic ID cards, Corruption Eradication Commission spokesman Febri Diansyah said.

Losses to the state as a result of corruption in the project are estimated at 2.3 trillion rupiah (RM737 million), according to the commission.

Novanto is also the chairperson of the Golkar Party, a member of the ruling coalition, and an ally of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

A wealthy businessman himself, Novanto met US President Donald Trump in September 2015, while the latter was campaigning for the presidency, to discuss investment in Indonesia.

After Trump came to power, Joko reportedly tasked Novanto with establishing rapport with the new US administration.

Two officials at the Home Affairs Ministry are on trial in the same corruption case while a businessman is also a suspect. More than 30 members of parliament from the 2004-2009 period, plus a former Home Affairs minister, have been implicated in the case.

In April, a top investigator for the anti-corruption commission investigating the case, Novel Baswedan, had acid thrown in his face by two attackers.

He is still being treated in a Singapore hospital. No suspects have yet been arrested for the crime.



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