Indonesian graft investigator attacked by unidentified men

JAKARTA – A senior investigator of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission was attacked early Tuesday in North Jakarta by unidentified men with a chemical substance, the commission’s spokesman said.

Investigator Novel Baswedan is under intensive treatment at a hospital after two unidentified men poured a chemical substance on his face as he was returning home from a mosque following dawn prayer, Febri Diansyah told reporters.

Baswedan, who is well-known for being a tough, outspoken investigator, is probing a high-profile corruption case on the procurement project of electronic identification cards for Indonesian citizens.

It was not immediately clear whether the Tuesday attack was related to the case. A couple years ago, Baswedan was hit by a car while driving his motorcycle, but he was not injured.

The US$450-million project scandal has implicated many government officials and lawmakers, with some of more than 200 witnesses naming House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto as one of those behind the graft case.

A businessman currently on trial for the graft case testified that he bribed officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure the companies he favored won the project. He also bribed lawmakers to secure the deliberation of the project between the government and the House.

The project was initiated in 2011 by then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, the ruling party at the time, and pro-government Golkar Party.

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