Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi delivers a media statement in Jakarta on Wednesday evening, after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) declared him a suspect based on evidence that the National Sports Committee (KONI) had paid him at least Rp 26.5 billion ($1.88 million) in bribes between 2014 and 2018 to help it secure state funding. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi Resigns Following Bribery Charges

SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo received Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi's resignation on Thursday, a day after the national antigraft agency declared him a bribery suspect.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) found strong evidence that the National Sports Committee (KONI) had paid Imam at least Rp 26.5 billion ($1.88 million) in bribes between 2014 and 2018 to help it secure state funding.

Imam allegedly demanded and received the money through his aide, who has also been declared a suspect in the case, KPK commissioner Alexander Marwata said.

"I have met with Imam Nahrawi this morning and I respect the KPK's decision to declare him a suspect related to the KONI grant," Jokowi said.

The president said he would only take a decision on Imam's replacement later. The minister represents the National Awakening Party (PKB) in the current cabinet, which will be dissolved before the start of Jokowi's second term on Oct. 20.

Imam is not the first minister in Jokowi's cabinet to face corruption charges. Idrus Marham resigned as social affairs minister after the KPK declared him a suspect in August last year.

"Everyone must be careful when using funds from the state budget, because the BPK [Supreme Audit Agency] will be checking it, in accordance with the law. If any misuse is discovered, it will become a matter for the law enforcement agencies," the president said.

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