SBY Slams ‘Character Assassination’ after Leaked Cables
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Monday he had been subjected to “character assassination” over leaked US cables that accused him of abuse of power.
Released by whistleblower WikiLeaks and run in Australian newspapers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday, the secret documents implied that the US embassy in Jakarta had serious doubts about Yudhoyono’s integrity.
“I don’t want to be too reactive and emotional,” Yudhoyono told reporters on the sidelines of an international judicial conference in the West Java town of Bogor.
“I will use my rights to get justice in a democratic manner. Later on, we’ll surely know who is democratic and who isn’t,” he said.
“Also, who impetuously reported and accused and played judge in the mass media, in a diplomacy that has highly discredited the good name of a person, or what can be called character assassination,” he added.
Yudhoyono, a former army general, was elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2009 on the promise he would combat corruption. The government has protested to Washington over the leak.
According to the newspaper reports, “the cables say Mr Yudhoyono has personally intervened to influence prosecutors and judges to protect corrupt political figures and pressure his adversaries.”
He also used “the Indonesian intelligence service to spy on political rivals and, at least once, a senior minister in his own government,” The Age said.
The cables also said Yudhoyono’s former vice-president Jusuf Kalla had reportedly paid huge amounts of money to gain control of the country ‘s largest party.
“Believe me, I’ll be accountable for whatever I do, and God willing I will maintain my integrity as that’s my duty as a leader in this country,” Yudhoyono said.Filed under: Headlines