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KPK chief named as suspect in extortion accusation linked to Agriculture Ministry

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Jakarta, IO – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chief Firli Bahuri was named a suspect by Jakarta Metropolitan Police Department (Polda Metro Jaya), Wed (22/11) after he was accused of extorting former agriculture minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo (SYL) and receiving gratifications. The decision was announced by Polda Metro Jaya’s head of special crimes unit Chief Commissioner Ade Safri.

Ade explained that the police confiscated a number of evidence related to the handling of corruption cases within the Agriculture Ministry (Kementan) in 2021. One of them is proof of money withdrawal in foreign currency worth Rp7.4 billion from several money changer outlets between February 2021 to September 2023.

However, Ade did not specify whether the money was received from extortion. He only said that it is a crucial piece of evidence.

The announcement surprised many parties because his was named a suspect at night after he, on behalf of KPK, received the Anugerah Reksa Bandha award from the Finance Ministry for the anti-graft agency’s efforts in safeguarding and recovering state assets through law enforcement measures.

The extortion case that implicated Firli started with a public complaint to Polda Metro Jaya on August 12.

After a series of investigations, the police stepped up the investigation status on October 6 and has so far examined 91 witnesses. Polda Metro Jaya also investigated the meeting between Firli and SYL at a badminton court. The photo of them sitting together on a bench has gone viral on social media.

Firli admitted that he did meet SYL at the badminton court on March 2, 2022. However, he said that the encounter occurred before KPK launched an investigation into alleged corruption at the Agriculture Ministry.

Read: Bandung Regency Exports 19.5t Of Coffee To France Worth Rp2b

Firli also said that his meeting with SYL was held in a public area and witnessed by many people. He said that investigation of corruption allegations at the ministry only started around January 2023.

Firli also denied accusations of extortion and receiving gratification from SYL. He claimed that it was part of the counter-attack against KPK leadership by corrupt forces.

“It is very likely that currently corrupt forces are ganging up to strike back,” said Firli. (un/summarized from multiple sources)

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