Indonesian top judge held for bribery faces drugs claim

JAKARTA - A top Indonesian judge, arrested this week for allegedly accepting bribes worth more than US$300,000 (S$ 373, 936), could face drugs charges after investigators found illicit substances in his office, an official said.

The detention of constitutional court chief judge Akil Mochtar on Wednesday followed the arrest of the country's top energy regulator in August and a string of corruption cases linked to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's ruling Democratic Party.

"During the search of Akil's office, investigators found items suspected to be illegal drugs," Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Johan Budi said at a press conference on Friday.

An unnamed source at the KPK said investigators found marijuana, but the amount was unclear.

The Jakarta Globe newspaper said Saturday that the judge slapped a local journalist in the face after he was asked whether he would be ready to have his fingers cut off over his bribery case.

The reporter's question related to Mochtar's previous statement that those accused of corruption should have their fingers cut off.

Mochtar has been suspected of receiving bribes in two disputed district elections on Borneo and Java islands, the agency's spokesman said previously.

The KPK has been granted extraordinary powers to investigate the rich and powerful in Indonesia, ranked the 118th most corrupt country in the world in a 176-nation index compiled by Transparency International.