Joko Widodo declares victory over corruption trial in Indonesia

Indonesian leader says locked gates contributed to deaths of more than 10,000 people during 2015

This article is more than 2 years old

This article is more than 2 years old

Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, has pledged to open up his nation’s politics to the people and has declared victory over the deadly political corruption trial he has faced in his first public appearance since his election, a week ago.

The trial of Widodo’s former minister, Suharto, prompted Indonesia to declare a “state of emergency” as the former president’s supporters blocked the roads around the nation to demand his transfer to a higher-security facility.

Widodo’s first public comments on the case were made to reporters after he met the country’s foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, at a hotel in the capital, who announced the “state of emergency”.

There has been no official confirmation, but Widodo’s spokesperson said the president was returning to Jakarta on Wednesday after returning on the previous Monday and would issue a statement soon.

When he returned he said he had a “wish to tell, to tell all the people on the need for openness of the government, the government can live a normal life and conduct an open government”.

“Indonesia no longer needs a state with a security perimeter,” he said, adding that “the security perimeter is now part of us”.

The ruling coalition, the Gerindra party of Widodo’s mentor, Widyanandi, and his own People’s Conscience party are in power for only 11 months but have won four of the five lower house seats in the election.

They are the frontrunners to become Indonesia’s next president – and as such are at the centre of opposition hopes that Widodo may move to bring the country’s political crisis to an end.

Their opposition, however, has remained weak.

The anti-corruption court, the high court and the supreme court have all said the ruling coalition cannot be convicted over corruption unless evidence of wrongdoing is “overwhelmingly” shown.

Widodo’s statement came as the court issued a temporary order barring opposition party members from wearing yellow ribbons as a protest against the corruption trial.

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