Indonesia recalls ambassador to Australia in spying row

Indonesia recalls ambassador to Australia in spying row
Restoring the integrity of Indonesia's lawmakers is a major priority.

JAKARTA - Indonesia recalled its ambassador to Australia Monday in a furious response to reports that Australian spy agencies tried to listen to the phone calls of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as well as his wife and ministers.

Jakarta also said that all cooperation with Canberra would be reviewed after secret documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden named the president and nine of his inner circle as targets of the surveillance.

The escalating row came with ties between the strategic allies already strained over previous spying allegations and ways to deal with boatpeople heading for Australia via Indonesia.

"This is an unfriendly, unbecoming act between strategic partners," Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told reporters as he announced the ambassador would be recalled for consultations.

"This isn't a smart thing to do," he said, adding that it "hasn't been a good day in the relationship between Indonesia and Australia".

The documents, obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Guardian newspaper, showed that Australia's electronic intelligence agency tracked Yudhoyono's activity on his mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009, when Labor's Kevin Rudd was prime minister.

Weeks before, twin blasts at luxury hotels in the Indonesian capital - the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton - had killed seven people, including three Australians, as well as two suicide bombers.

The directorate reportedly intercepted at least one call.

A list of targets also included Yudhoyono's wife Ani, Vice President Boediono - who was in Australia last week, former vice president Jusuf Kalla, the foreign affairs spokesman, the security minister and the information minister, the reports said.

Another name on the list, former minister for state-owned enterprises Sofyan Djalil, told AFP: "We are not happy."

More about

Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.