Indonesian politicians were implicated in a major corruption scandal estimated to have siphoned about $170m of government money.
The justice minister, a former interior minister, the current speaker of parliament and provincial governors were among those named in an indictment presented to a special corruption court on Thursday at the start of a trial of two interior ministry officials.
Indonesia’s anti-corruption police allege that a network of about 80 conspirators and several companies used the introduction of a $440m electronic identity card system in 2011 and 2012 to steal more than a third of the funds.
The justice minister and parliament’s speaker are from political parties that have thrown their support behind President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s government, which initially did not command a parliamentary majority following the election of the maverick candidate in 2014.
The seriousness of the allegations has caused widespread shock in the country.
Transparency International in 2016 gave Indonesia a corruption score of 37 on a 1 to 100 scale, where 100 is completely free of corruption.
Out of the 176 countries ranked, Indonesia was 90th, far from its goal of reaching 50th place by 2016.
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Source: News agencies