Indonesia wins one in war on corruption (Bill Guerin, 1/31/06, Asia Times)

Indonesia has scored a major victory in the war on corruption after the return to the country of a crooked banker who fled before being sentenced in absentia to eight years in jail.

The US turned over fugitive David Nusa Wijaya to Indonesia on January 17 after he was located in Los Angeles four days earlier. The two countries do not have an extradition treaty. […]

Significantly, US assistance came less than a week after Washington praised Jakarta’s arrest of suspects in the 2002 murders of two American teachers in the province of Papua. The case was the main hurdle to restoring military ties between the two countries.

Once again, as with the Papua arrests, public statements confirm the strong relationship developing between Jakarta and Washington. “I am grateful to the friendly country that helped him [Wijaya] be brought to justice,” Yudhoyono said.

The US Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement: “The US government understands that returning fugitives and stolen assets from abroad in corruption cases is a top law-enforcement priority in Indonesia and looks forward to cooperating with Indonesia in other cases in the future.”

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