Indonesian house speaker resigns over scandal involving Freeport mine extortion allegation

The embattled speaker of Indonesia's House of Representatives has resigned over his involvement in one of biggest political scandals in years, in which he allegedly sought kickbacks from a giant U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in exchange for helping it extend its operating contract.

Setya Novanto from the opposition Golkar Party has been at the center of the scandal, which began with a meeting in June with the chief executive of PT Freeport Indonesia at which he and a businessman are alleged to have used the names of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla to seek stakes in the company.

Novanto's resignation Wednesday came just minutes before a parliamentary Ethics Council was expected to reach a conclusion on his conduct.