13 Jan 2010

Indonesian army 'fails to dismantle business empire'

10:41 am on 13 January 2010

The Indonesian armed forces have failed to meet a legal deadline to dismantle their business empire, a human rights group says.

US-based Human Rights Watch says the army still controls multi-million dollar businesses, some of which it says are corrupt.

The military was stripped of its once significant political powers after Indonesia became a democracy and was supposed to cede management of its businesses by 2009, the BBC reports.

Human Rights Watch alleges that many of the businesses owned by the army are corrupt and have committed human rights abuses.

Spokesperson Lisa Misol told the BBC there's a long history of the military being involved in different kinds of business.

"At the moment these include real estate investments timber companies, transport services, but also a host of informal activities including protection services for companies and a lot of corruption."

A military spokesperson has denied the allegations.