Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali met President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Bogor Palace, on Monday, to discuss his status as suspect in an alleged corruption case being investigated by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

The minister arrived at the palace at 11.45 a.m. and shook hands with the president.

While receiving Suryadharma Ali, Yudhoyono was accompanied by Vice President Boediono, Coordinating Minister for Peoples Welfare Agung Laksono, and Minister/State Secretary Sudi Silalahi.

Earlier, President Yudhoyono stated that he will arrive at a decision regarding Suryadharma Ali on Monday (May 26).

"My stance does not change. If there is a government official committing corruption, the law must be enforced fairly. It also applies to ministers," the head of state emphasized.

The KPK recently named Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali a suspect in a corruption case related to Hajj pilgrimage at the ministry during the period between 2012 and 2013.

"We have decided to raise the status of Suryadharma Ali from under investigation to suspect," KPK Deputy Chairman Busryo Muqoddas remarked.

KPK Chairman Abraham Samad had previously claimed that the anti-graft agency had gathered sufficient evidence to name a high-ranking official as a suspect in this case.

The anti-graft body launched an investigation into the management of the 2012-2013 Hajj pilgrimage funds and the issuance of Hajj facilities for individuals who, according to regulations, were not eligible. (*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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