Indonesia indicts ex-parliament speaker

JAKARTA: Indonesian prosecutors charged a former parliament speaker on Wednesday in connection with a $170 million graft scandal after he held up proceedings for hours at the opening of his trial, saying he was ill.
Setya Novanto has been brought to trial by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which suspects extensive pilfering of public funds linked to a national identity card programme.
Novanto, who resigned as speaker of parliament this week, has denied wrongdoing.
He had managed to cling to power through several previous corruption cases and repeatedly missed summonses for questioning by the anti-graft agency in connection with this case in recent months, saying he needed heart surgery.
Novanto, who arrived at court in a white shirt and a bright orange jacket usually worn by the KPK’s graft suspects, said he had diarrhoea and needed medical attention. Prosecutors from the KPK said he was lying and that doctors had given him a clean bill of health earlier on Wednesday.
The KPK is investigating losses amounting to about $170 million linked to the national electronic identity card scheme after allegations that sums ranging from $5,000 to $5.5 million were divided up among politicians in parliament. — Reuters