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Resignations in Indonesia scandal

Indonesian students rally in support of the country's anti-corruption agency
Protests have been held in Jakarta in support of the KPK

Two of Indonesia's senior law enforcement officials have resigned over a growing corruption scandal.

Deputy attorney general Abdul Hakim Ritonga and Chief Detective Susno Duadji were linked to an alleged plot to weaken the anti-corruption agency.

Their names came up in recordings in which the suspected plot was allegedly discussed by police and prosecutors.

The case is being seen as a test of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's promises to clamp down on corruption.

The president said more resignations or suspensions could be expected.

"I've advised the police chief and the attorney general to suspend those whose names were mentioned in the tape recordings and discharge them from their duties," AFP news agency quoted him as telling a cabinet meeting.

The resignations of Mr Ritonga and Ch Det Susno Duadji came after calls for their dismissal from Indonesians who have taken to the streets protesting against the suspected plot to weaken the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

Indonesia's Watergate

Human rights groups say the KPK has become a target of the police force because it has been so successful in investigating and charging corrupt officials.

Indonesia is often ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, but the efforts of the KPK have encouraged investors to believe the country is trying to clean up its act, says the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta.

The case, which has been dubbed Indonesia's Watergate, has transfixed the nation, says our correspondent.

The tapes were played in a nationally televised session of the Constitutional Court, as part of the defence of two KPK officials arrested on bribery charges.

Corrupt officials

The recorded discussion is allegedly between a businessman and several people thought to be in Indonesia's powerful police force and the attorney general's office.

Discussions on the tapes revealed the speakers were involved in plans to significantly weaken the KPK by implicating two of their officials in bribery charges.

It is a powerful body that has gained the reputation of being tough on corrupt officials - including those in high places, says our Jakarta correspondent.

The KPK officials, Chandra Hamzah and Bibit Samad Riyanto, were released on Tuesday.



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