10/03/2013, 00.00
INDONESIA
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Jakarta: Constitutional Court President arrested in anti-corruption blitz

by Mathias Hariyadi
Akil Mochtar charged with pocketing three billion rupees in bribes to "fix " the outcome of an election in central Borneo . Public shocked as confidence in the institutions collapses. President Yudhoyono speaks of a "legal" and " non-political " issue and calls for transparency , but corruption is rampant.

Jakarta (AsiaNews ) - A new corruption scandal has shaken the Indonesian public and threatens to bring down the credibility of the higher institutions of the country. Last night the Anti-Corruption Commission ( Kpk ) arrested the President of the Constitutional Court ( MK ) Akil Mochtar , former lawyer and leading member of the Golkar Party, following a raid at his private residence in South Jakarta . The officers caught and arrested him with evidence of bribery and corruption ; during the operation, an amount of cash equal to three billion rupees (about 260 thousand dollars) was seized.

Originally from the province of Central Borneo , Mochtar is among the most influential figures on the national scene . As well as the President of the Constitutional Court, Chairun Nisa , a member of the Golkar Party and candidate for the  Parliamentary elections of 2014 was also arrested. In a different operation KPK officers also arrested Hambit Binthin , current head of the regency of Gunung Mas , in Central Borneo .

In the past, high profile members of the political scene , including the leader of the pro - Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS ) Lufthi Hassan , and former Minister for Youth and Sports Andi Mallarangeng have been targeted by the Anti-Corruption Commission. The charge for the President of the Constitutional Court is to have fixed  - for a fee - a second term for Hambit Binthin . Among the top institutions in Indonesia , in fact , only the supreme court have the power - in case of appeal - to sanction or reverse the outcome of the polls in an election , be they local or national .

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyonohas spoken of "terrible fact , that affects the highest judicial institution of the country." He adds that it is a "legal matter and not a political one" and expects more " rigor" and "transparency" from those in top positions. Meanwhile calls are mounting for the resignation Akil Mochtar , according to some of his predecessors at the helm of MK, he deserves the death penalty for having tarnished the institution.

 

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