Widodo faces crisis over police chief saga

Widodo faces crisis over police chief saga

JAKARTA - The power struggle surrounding Indonesia's search for a new chief of police escalated Friday morning with the arrest of prominent anti-graft official Bambang Widjojanto on charges of inciting perjury.

Widjojanto is deputy head of the Corruption Eradication Commission, known by its Indonesian initials as the KPK. The agency had earlier indicted Budi Gunawan, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's nominee for police chief, on charges of accepting gifts and bribes.

Nursyabani Katjasungkana, a lawyer with the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, said that Widjojanto's arrest was a retaliation against the KPK by the police.

"This cannot be separated from the context of the KPK investigation into the nominee for chief of police, Katjasungkana said, speaking at the Jakarta police station where Widjojanto was being detained.

Earlier, National Police spokesman Maj. Gen. Ronny Franky Sompie said: "We have enough evidence that he asked a witness to provide a false report before the court."

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