Indonesian religion minister resigns over Hajj corruption

Indonesian Religion Minister Suryadharma Ali resigned Monday, five days after being named a corruption suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission last Thursday.

The commission named Suryadharma a suspect over misuse of Hajj funds in 2012-2013. He was responsible for budgeting funds for lodging, catering and transportation for Indonesian pilgrims to Mecca and allegedly misused those funds.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono reportedly told Suryadharma on Monday to submit a resignation letter within two or three days.

Indonesia is the biggest of Hajj contributors and the religion minister was responsible for the management of the funds as well as setting a pilgrimage quota each year.

The Corruption Eradication Commission alleged Suryadharma for also misused his office to save the Hajj places for his family and relatives.

The religion minister is a major figure in the camp of former general Prabowo Subianto, a leading candidate in the July presidential election.