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Corruption probe reaches old circle of power

Siti Hardiyanti

How times have changed. Only three years ago, any foreign investor planning to come to Indonesia would have been delighted to receive an appointment list featuring the following names: Bob Hasan, minister of trade and industry, Ginandjar Kartasasmita, co-ordinating minister for economics and finance, and Ali Wardhana, economic adviser to then president Suharto. If he also managed to see Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana, the president's daughter, he would probably have been immediately ready to sign on the dotted line.

Not now. Hasan, whose appeal also resided in his very close relationship with the former president, his golfing partner, is now an inmate of Jakarta's main prison, having had a one-year sentence for corruption increased to six years. Kartasasmita, currently on secondment to Harvard University, has been named as a suspect in a bribery case relating to state oil company Pertamina and is required to appear for questioning this month.

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