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Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister named suspect in haj case

The Jakarta Post/ANN | Friday, May 23, 2014

Suryadharma Ali, Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister also the head of United Development Party attending a ceremony in Jakarta.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali a suspect on Thursday in relation to alleged corruption in haj management projects at the ministry during the 2012-2013 period.

"We have decided to raise the status of Suryadharma Ali to suspect," KPK deputy chairman Busryo Muqoddas said as quoted by tribunnews.com.

Previously, during questioning Suryadharma had insisted session he had been in the dark regarding who had engineered the project. He also insisted that he could find any irregularities in the haj pilgrim housing facilities project.

KPK chairman Abraham Samad had previously said that the KPK had sufficient evidence to name a high-ranking official suspect in this case.

The antigraft body launched an investigation into the management of the 2012­-2013 haj pilgrimage fund and the issuance of haj facilities for individuals who, according to regulations, were not eligible.

It has been alleged that a number of relatives of ministry members and lawmakers enjoyed facilities from haj funds.

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