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Indonesia graft busters detain 2 Cen. Bank officials

JAKARTA - Indonesia's anti-corruption agency on Thursday detained two senior central bank officials, but the governor, named a suspect by the graft body last month, was left alone for now.

Johan Budi, a spokesman for the Corruption Eradication Commission, told Reuters that two officials had been detained, but declined to give further details.

He said the agency expects to question central bank governor Burhanuddin Abdullan next week in connection with a report from the Supreme Audit Agency, which found evidence that a foundation linked to Bank Indonesia had illegally paid lawmakers and funded legal assistance for top central bank officials.

Abdullah, whose five-year term as governor ends in May, has denied any wrongdoing and said on Tuesday he does not wish to be considered for a second term.

Rusli Simanjuntak, who is head of the Bank Indonesia office in Surabaya, was one of the two officials detained on Thursday, according to his lawyer Otto Cornelis Kaligis.

The other official was Oey Hoey Tiong, the central bank's director for legal affairs, Kaligis said.

"The agency said the reason for detention was to prevent the loss of evidence, whereas my client has already accounted for everything," Kaligis told Reuters.

"My client was very cooperative, he has not hidden any evidence and yet they decided to detain him."

Kaligis said that under Indonesian law, his client can be held for up to 40 days.

Political analyst Indria Samego said the detentions mark a breakthrough in Indonesia's efforts to eradicate corruption.

"This is an entry point to start cleaning up public institutions," Samego told Reuters.

Experts consistently rate Indonesia as among the world's most corrupt nations and foreign executives cite graft as a key factor hurting attempts to attract badly needed investment.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won the first direct presidential vote in October 2004 on a pledge to end corruption.

Since Yudhoyono's anti-graft campaign started, officials ranging from governors and former ministers have been jailed on corruption charges. But some critics argue the anti-graft campaign has not taken on some powerful vested interests.

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