Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 09:08 UK

Indonesia leader's in-law jailed

By Karishma Vaswani
BBC News, Jakarta

Aulia Pohan is escorted by police officers during his trial in Jakarta on 5 June 2009
Aulia Pohan is the father of President Yudhoyono's daughter-in-law

A corruption court in Indonesia has sentenced a relative of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to four and a half years in jail.

Aulia Pohan, a former central banker, was found guilty of approving illegal payments to members of parliament.

Pohan's daughter is married to President Yudhoyono's son, and his corruption trial has been closely watched by many Indonesians.

Indonesia often ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Many ordinary people wondered whether one of the president's relatives would escape a harsh sentence.

But the final verdict - four and a half years in jail and a $20,000 fine - has been seen as a step in the right direction for the judiciary.

Election battle

Pohan was a deputy in Indonesia's central bank, when he misused his authority to sign over huge sums of money to members of parliament.

The scandal cost the state over $9m, and the case has been an embarrassment for Mr Yudhoyono, as clamping down on corruption has been one of the hallmarks of his election campaign.

He is fighting a tough battle to get re-elected when Indonesians head to the polls this July to choose their next president.

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