Indonesia's rumour mill in overdrive over kissing photos

Indonesia's rumour mill in overdrive over kissing photos
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (L) stands beside Corruption Eradication Agency (KPK) chief Abraham Samad.

JAKARTA - Photographs of a kissing couple who resemble Indonesia's chief graft buster and a young beauty queen have gone viral, a day after the anti-graft agency named President Joko Widodo's nomination for police chief a bribery suspect.

The photos show a man who looks like Mr Abraham Samad, head of the anti-corruption commission (KPK), kissing a young woman who resembles 20-year-old beauty queen Elvira Devinamira Wirayanti.

Four photos were e-mailed to several media outlets yesterday and circulated via journalists' WhatsApp chat groups.

"That is defamation. The photos could have been doctored," detik news website quoted the married Mr Abraham as saying.

The photos were sent out a day after KPK named influential police general Budi Gunawan a suspect in a corruption case. The three-star police general has been proposed by Mr Joko as the next national police chief.

"Declaring me as a corruption suspect is character assassination and an insult to the police force as an institution," General Budi said at a parliamentary hearing yesterday that was broadcast live on national television.

He was attending a scheduled fit-and-proper test with the legal and security parliamentary committee.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto, flanked by Mr Abraham, said Gen Budi had been under KPK investigation since last June, and that KPK had recently obtained two sets of evidence against him.

Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto told reporters the same day that President Joko will consider whether to retract Gen Budi's name.

Mr Joko had said on Monday that he chose Gen Budi on the recommendation of the National Police Commission. Gen Budi is close to Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri, a former president and the leader of Mr Joko's political party PDI-P.

Mr Joko did not ask KPK to vet his choice of police chief, although such action had been taken for his Cabinet picks. In October, he asked the agency to screen potential members of his Cabinet and it rejected eight of them.

This article was first published on January 15, 2015.
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