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Police name KPK chief Firli as suspect in alleged extortion

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2023

Jakarta – The National Police this week named the chief of the country's anti-corruption agency, Firli Bahuri, as a suspect for alleged extortion or receiving kickbacks, another setback in the once-prized government institution.

Firli, a former police inspector general, is a suspect in alleged extortion of money from Syahrul Yasin Limpo, the ex-agriculture minister who was arrested after being named a suspect in a corruption case last month, authorities have said.

Sr. Comr. Ade Safri Simanjuntak, a Jakarta police official, told reporters late on Wednesday that there has been "sufficient evidence to name... the KPK chief as a suspect in a corruption case in the form of extortion."

He said a state official extorted money at the agriculture ministry from 2020-2023.

Authorities had confiscated exchange transaction documents from Singapore and US dollars worth Rp 7.4 billion ($477,730) from raids at two locations, Ade added.

Firli did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has not been arrested.

He said in a press conference on Monday prior to being a named a suspect that he has "never extorted anyone, and I've never been involved in a bribery...with anyone."

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Thursday "to respect the process of law" when asked about Firli being named a suspect.

Firli was named the KPK chief in 2019, around the same time critics said changes to the law governing the agency had weakened it, triggering a series of "save the KPK" protests.

KPK has prosecuted hundreds of politicians, officials, and businessmen since its formation in 2002, becoming one of the country's most respected agencies.

Former agriculture minister Limpo resigned in October because of the allegations levelled at him.

He is the sixth minister to be investigated for corruption since President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo took office in 2014.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/11/23/police-name-kpk-chief-firli-as-suspect-in-alleged-extortion.htm