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Former colleagues warmly welcome release of ex-KPK chief


Old friend -- Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Johan Budi speaks to journalists at the antigraft body’s headquarters in Jakarta on Friday. Johan, who currently serves as presidential spokesperson, warmly welcomed the release on parole of former KPK chairman Antasari Azhar from Tangerang Penitentiary, Banten.

Tangerang | Fri, November 11, 2016

Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Johan Budi has congratulated his former superior, Antasari Azhar, who was released on parole from prison in Tangerang, Banten, on Thursday.

“As someone who has worked together with [Antasari], I’m happy about his release,” Johan told reporters in Jakarta on Friday.

Johan, who now serves as spokesman to the president, was at the KPK headquarters to honor the antigraft body’s invitation to attend its worker union’s anniversary celebration, to which former KPK chairman Antasari was also invited. Johan and Antasari were among the early generation of KPK officials in the early 2000s.

As a KPK leader, Antasari has received praise for his achievements in anticorruption efforts in Indonesia. Under his leadership, the KPK prosecuted former Bank Indonesia deputy governor Aulia Pohan, to whom then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was related through marriage. Pohan was convicted in a bribery case related to the Bank Century bailout.

The South Jakarta District Court sentenced Antasari to 18 years in prison in 2010 for masterminding the murder of state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran director Nasrudin Zulkarnaen.

Yudhoyono removed Antasari from his post at the KPK after the latter was convicted of murder. Antasari was released on parole after serving his sentence for seven-and-a-half years. (JP)

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