Updated: 01/11/2014 04:08 | By Agence France-Presse

Indonesia graft agency detains ex-ruling party chairman

Indonesia's anti-graft agency Friday detained the former chairman of the ruling party over a $120 million corruption case, in a move that could further damage the president just months before elections.


Indonesia graft agency detains ex-ruling party chairman

Former chairman of Indonesia's ruling Democratic Party Anas Urbaningrum is pictured on February 23, 2013 at the party headquarters in Jakarta

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detained Anas Urbaningrum after four hours of questioning for allegedly receiving "gifts or a promise of gifts" in a case linked to the construction of a sports centre near Jakarta, commission spokesman Johan Budi said.

It is the latest scandal to hit President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party, which won a landslide election victory in 2009 on a corruption-fighting platform but whose reputation is now in tatters. 

The party has seen its popularity slump to single digits in recent times from more than 20 percent in 2009 and faces wipeout at legislative elections in April and presidential polls in July.

Urbaningrum stepped down as party chairman in February last year after being named a suspect in the 1.17 trillion rupiah corruption case linked to the construction of the Hambalang sports centre. 

The sports minister was also forced to resign after being named a suspect in the same case.

The Hambalang sports centre was built following a tender process but this has since come under scrutiny, with the KPK kicking off an investigation into the development in 2010.

Indonesia is ranked 114th out of 177 countries and territories in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. A number one ranking means the least corrupt.

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