Indonesia: Batubara named suspect in COVID-19 corruption case

Indonesia: Batubara named suspect in COVID-19 corruption case

Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara accused of taking $1.2m in bribes from suppliers in COVID-19 aid project.

Indonesia’s social affairs minister turned himself in to anti-corruption authorities on Sunday to face charges of taking bribes related to the government’s COVID-19 aid distribution.

Juliari Batubara arrived at the Corruption Eradication Commission’s headquarters in the capital, Jakarta, hours after the anti-corruption commission called on him to surrender in a news conference just before midnight on Saturday.

Batubara, who is also a member of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, made no comment.

The anti-corruption commission, known by its acronym KPK, said Batubara and two other officials are suspected of taking bribes in connection with the procurement of 5.9 trillion rupiah ($420m) worth of goods to be distributed as COVID-19 social assistance packages. The other two suspects in the case are private citizens.