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Malthouse back in the box I Hird's first big test


WEATHER Partly cloudy after early fog clears. 16-27

TOMORROW Showers SUNDAY Showers MONDAY Drizzle then sunny TUESDAY Sunny

19-29 21-25 15-22 13-26

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FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2011

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Yudhoyono `abused power'

Cables accuse Indonesian President of corruption



SECRET US diplomatic cables have implicated Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in substantial corruption and abuse of power, puncturing his reputation as a political cleanskin and reformer. The cables say Dr Yudhoyono has personally intervened to influence prosecutors and judges to protect corrupt political figures and pressure his adversaries, while using the Indonesian intelligence service to spy on political rivals and, at least once, a senior minister in his own government. They also detail how Dr Yudhoyono's former vicepresident reportedly paid millions of dollars to buy control of Indonesia's largest political party, and accuse the President's wife and her family of seeking to enrich themselves through their political connections. The revelations come as Indonesian Vice-President Boediono visits Canberra today for talks with acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan and discussions with officials on administrative change to reform Indonesia's corrupt bureaucracy. The US diplomatic reports -- obtained by WikiLeaks and


provided exclusively to The Age -- say that soon after becoming President in 2004, Dr Yudhoyono intervened in the case of Taufik Kiemas, husband of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri. Mr Taufik reportedly had

used his continuing control of his wife's Indonesian Democratic Party, then the second largest party in Indonesia's parliament, to broker protection from prosecution for what the US diplomats described as ``legendary corruption during his wife's tenure''. In December 2004, the US embassy in Jakarta reported that one of its most valued political informants, senior presidential adviser T. B. Silalahi, had advised that then assistant attorney-general Hendarman Supandji, who was leading the new government's anti-

corruption campaign, had gathered ``sufficient evidence of the corruption of former first gentleman Taufik Kiemas to warrant Taufik's arrest''. But Mr Silalahi, one of Dr Yudhoyono's closest political confidants, told the US embassy the President ``had personally instructed Hendarman not to pursue a case against Taufik''. No legal proceedings were brought against Mr Taufik, an influential political figure who is now Speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly, a largely ceremonial body. The US embassy also repor-

ted that then vice-president Jusuf Kalla allegedly paid ``enormous bribes'' to win the chairmanship of Golkar, Indonesia's largest party, during a December 2004 party congress. The President's wife and relatives feature prominently in the US embassy's political reporting, with American diplomats highlighting efforts of the President's family ``particularly first lady Kristiani Herawati . . . to profit financially from its political position''. As early as

Quizzed: Ricky Nixon in a police car yesterday. PICTURE: CHANNEL NINE

Continued PAGE 4


Bambang thank you ma'am PAGE 17

Nixon quizzed, Fevola lapses


AFL player manager Ricky Nixon was questioned by police yesterday, just days after standing down from his role to seek treatment for substance abuse. It is believed police asked Nixon about allegations made by the 17-year-old at the centre of the St Kilda nude photo scandal. The teenager claims she has had a sexual relationship with Nixon and made covert recordings that included audio of Nixon snorting cocaine. Police would not confirm whether Nixon had been interviewed, but Channel Nine filmed him leaving the Victoria Police Centre in a police car. Nixon is also being investigated by David Galbally, QC, for the AFL Players Association and could lose his accreditation as a player manager. Nixon, who did not return calls last night, has admitted to ``inappropriate dealings'' with the teenager, but repeatedly denied taking drugs in her presence or having sex with her. As the AFL struggles with the Nixon fallout, the controversy over Brendan Fevola took a turn for the worse when he was spotted playing poker at Crown Casino. The lapse came less than a week after the wayward player completed a 66-day stint in a rehabilitation clinic for gambling and alcohol addiction and depression. Last night, Fevola revealed in a paid interview on The Footy Show that he had attempted suicide and may have lost $1 million through gambling. He said he once lost $365,000 in a day. He said that he attempted to harm himself following an argument last year with estranged wife Alex. ``I started to drink some red wine and ended up drinking about three or four bottles and tried to harm myself,'' he said. ``My mum found me lying on the floor when she came over. They put me in the [Brisbane] clinic.'' Yesterday's visit to Crown has put at risk his comeback with VFL side Casey Scorpions, after he was dumped by Brisbane. For help or information visit, call Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251, or Lifeline on 131 114.

Gillard, Rudd at odds on Libya




A SPLIT has emerged between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, over international intervention in Libya. Trying to play down the embarrassing rift during her visit to the United States, Ms Gillard said the United Nations Security Council should consider a ``full range'' of options to deal with dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and made it clear Australia had no intention of taking an active part if a flightexclusion zone was imposed. ``We are a long way from Libya and what we've said is that in the first instance NATO would need to work through this question of the no-fly zone,'' said Ms Gillard, who also discussed Libya with UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon yesterday. Mr Rudd has been campaigning strongly for a flightexclusion zone, declaring this week it was ``very much the lesser of two evils . . . a greater evil is to simply stand back and allow the innocent people of Libya to be strafed and bombed by Gaddafi''. Behind the scenes, Ms Gillard's office has been in despair at Mr Rudd's public comments, saying his repeated interventions on Libya have come without the knowledge or approval of the Prime Minister. An adviser to Ms Gillard, who asked not to be named, told The Age that Mr Rudd's freewheeling approach was also causing confusion at a diplomatic level. ``He's out of control,'' the adviser said. ``He puts out one press release after another, and

Julia Gillard signs autographs after addressing a joint meeting of the United States Congress on Capitol Hill, and (below) during her address with the Speaker, John Boehner (rear left) wiping away a tear.


Congress laps it up as the Prime Minister lays it on thick



TOWARDS the end of her 30-minute address to Congress, Julia Gillard's voice wavered momentarily, straining under the weight of occasion and as she reprised her schoolgirl reaction to an awe-inspiring moment in history. Americans could do anything, she had thought while watching the moon landing as a student not yet eight years of age. Palpable and personal, her emotional recollection drew empathy from her audience. Speaker John Boehner, the chainsmoking Republican from Ohio prone to tears, sniffled behind her, as did several of those assembled in front. ``As I stand before you in this, this cradle of democracy, I see a nation that changed the world, a nation that has known remarkable days,'' Gillard said, faltering a little. ``I firmly believe you are the same people who amazed me, when I was a small girl, by landing on the moon.'' At which point, her audience erupted in applause, interrupting momentarily her emotional crescendo. ``On that great day, I believed Americans could do anything,'' Gillard continued. ``I believe that still. You can do anything.'' To which they responded again, rising to their feet for the sixth time to offer a sustained ovation, then handshakes, as the Prime Minister -- the fourth Australian to address a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the Senate -- made her way out. Gillard had laid it on with a trowel, pledging undying loyalty to the US that made ``all the way with LBJ'' look like a cold shoulder. She poured it on, lavishing praise on Americans, the American dream and on Ronald Reagan as a symbol of American optimism, of which there was no greater symbol than ``America itself''. ``You have a true friend Down Under,'' she assured those present. ``You have an ally in Australia, an ally for war and peace, an ally for hardship and prosperity, an ally for the 60 years past . . . an ally for all the years to come.'' ``True friends'', ``real mates [who] talk straight'', ``together in the hardest times'' . . . standing firm. Without any sense of irony, she said: ``Those of you who have spent time with Australians know that we are not given to overstatement.'' But this was, er, well, not to beat around the bush, a case of ``blowin' smoke . . . '', capping a string of picture opportunities during a three-day orientation of the capital and Capitol. Here was the climax, an address to Congress to commemorate the 60th anniversary of ANZUS. Mastering the autocue that is the ubiquitous accessory of modern statecraft, Gillard stood out in a smart orange jacket that played splendidly against the deep blue of the chamber's carpet, the diplomatic mis-en-scene completed by front-row attendants, the Republicans' John McCain, a jolly Richard Lugar and a grim-faced Mitch McConnell alongside Democrat heavyweights Harry Reid, as well as foreign specialists John Kerry and Dick Durbin. While barely a couple of hundred of the 535 elected representatives and senators showed up, officials avoided embarrassment by back-filling with staffers and interns and even a few rows of schoolchildren. Their welcome was genuinely warm, even if it also reflected the weight of Australia's worldly standing. When the Prime Minister entered the chamber at 11.05am, they stood and turned towards her, applauding dutifully, some juggling BlackBerries and iPhones that would keep them in touch discreetly with matters of state du jour -- federal budget cuts and Libyan no-fly zones. They were on their feet again five minutes later when Gillard touched on

Continued PAGE 2 Daniel Flitton's analysis PAGE 2 They want our oil: Gaddafi PAGE 14 All the way with the USA PAGE 19

Continued PAGE 2

Fev's final hand? SPORT

ISSN 0312-6307


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Mary Tetley of Denbigh, Wales, was left $16,000 in her mother's will, with a letter telling her to ``follow her dream''. So Mary, 45, went on a three-month solo tour of Europe's chocolate hot-spots, including Belgium, Switzerland and France, blew the lot and put on more than 15 kilograms.



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