Indonesian IT minister arrested for alleged corruption in procurement

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian authorities on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, arrested the information technology minister as part of an investigation into a million-dollar corruption scandal linked to the construction of mobile phone transmission towers in remote regions.

Communication and Information Technology Minister Johnny Plate was arrested after showing up for questioning at the Attorney General’s Office, said Kuntadi, the director of investigation at the prosecutor’s office.

If he is formally charged, it may further tarnish President Joko Widodo’s credibility when it comes to fighting corruption. Four other members of Widodo’s Cabinet have been sentenced to prison terms in corruption cases, casting a shadow over his efforts to clean up government while he looks for a successor when his term ends in 2024.

Footage showed Plate leaving the prosecutor’s office in handcuffs and wearing a detainee red vest. He did not respond to journalists’ questions.

This was the third time Plate was summoned since mid-February by investigators digging deep into his supervisory role in allocation of state funds for the construction of base transceiver stations, said Kuntadi, who goes by a single name like many Indonesians. (AP)