Top Indonesian judge arrested for alleged bribery

Top Indonesian judge arrested for alleged bribery

JAKARTA - Indonesian anti-corruption investigators have arrested the constitutional court's top judge for allegedly accepting a bribe of more than $250,000 in a case linked to a disputed election, an official said Thursday.

It was the latest high-profile corruption case in one of the world's most graft-ridden countries, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed shock in rare public comments on the issue.

"I can feel the anger and shock shared by the Indonesian people," he said.

Chief Justice Akil Mochtar was detained late Wednesday at his Jakarta home shortly after a businessman and lawmaker allegedly handed him around three billion rupiah, said Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Johan Budi.

"The bribery was allegedly linked to a disputed election in Gunung Mas district on Borneo island," said Budi.

The election was held on September 4. One of the constitutional court's main roles is to decide on electoral disputes.

The lawmaker, a member of the Golkar party of former dictator Suharto, and businessman were also detained at Mochtar's house, he said.

The head of Gunung Mas district and another man were arrested at a Jakarta hotel soon afterwards, added Budi.

"The questioning of the five men is still under way," he added.

Yudhoyono said that constitutional court judges "have a very important role. They are required to have high integrity and are also expected to have the capacity to decide disputes properly.

"The constitutional court's ruling is final and binding... can you imagine if they make a wrong decision or if there's a violation of their ruling?"

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