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Indonesia’s Sports Minister resigns after being named bribery suspect

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo yesterday said his sports minister had resigned after being named a bribery suspect by the country's anti-corruption agency.

It was the second Cabinet minister engulfed in the graft case, which has been a blow to Mr Joko, who came to power in 2014 with the promise of clean, effective government.

The Corruption Eradication Commission, known by its Indonesian initials KPK, named minister Imam Nahrawi and his assistant as suspects on Wednesday.

"We will decide on whether we will replace him or have an interim minister, but I was delivered the letter of resignation," Mr Joko told reporters.

The bribery case involves two organisations: the Sports Ministry and the National Sports Committee (Koni).

Nahrawi is accused of taking 26.5 billion rupiah (S$2.59 million) in bribes related to a request to the ministry for a grant proposal by Koni in its 2018 budget, said Mr Alexander Marwata, deputy chief of the KPK.

PERSONAL USE

"The money had allegedly been used for his personal use through his personal assistant," Mr Marwata added.

Representatives of the committee are accused of giving some of the money to Nahrawi through his assistant on five occasions.

The representatives, along with three staffers from both the ministry and the committee, had already been named suspects.

Nahrawi in a TV appearance on Wednesday night urged people to "uphold the presumption of innocence" and promised to cooperate with the KPK for the investigation.

"I hope this is not something that has a political motive and is outside of the legal system," he said.

The case surfaced after the KPK launched a sting in December 2018, confiscating 7.4 billion rupiah.

Mr Joko's former Social Minister, Idrus Marham, was sentenced to three years in jail in April by the special corruption court for bribery. - REUTERS

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