Indonesia’s sports minister resigns over corruption allegations

Indonesian youth and sports minister Imam Nahrawi resigned yesterday, after being accused of stealing Rp26.5bn ($1.8m, €1.62m) of public money.

Alexander Marwata, the deputy chief of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), named the minister and his assistant as suspects in a graft investigation related to a grant proposal by the National Sports Committee (KONI) in its 2018 budget.

Representatives of KONI are accused of giving some of the grant money to Nahrawi via his assistant on five occasions, according to Channel News Asia. Those representatives, along with three staffers from the sports ministry, have also been named suspects.

Nahrawi made a television appearance on Wednesday night, promising to cooperate with the KPK for the investigation, and said President Joko Widodo had accepted his resignation so he could focus on making a strong legal defence.

Nahrawi said: “As a law-abiding citizen, I want to focus on facing the charges. I’m not like what they are accusing. I hope this is not something that has a political motive and is outside of the legal system.”

Nahrawi is Indonesia’s second sports and youth minister to resign after being accused of corruption by the KPK after Andi Mallarangeng, who was minister under former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Mallarangeng was sentenced in 2014 to four years in jail and fined $17,000 for accepting $720,000 from a contractor related to a $122m sports complex in the West Java village of Hambalang.