Thursday, February 12, 2009

Born Free

JAKARTA - AN INDONESIAN court rejected on Wednesday a civil corruption case against the youngest son of ex-president Suharto involving the alleged misuse of US$400 million (S$603 million) in state funds.

The Central Jakarta district court cleared Hutomo Mandala Putra, popularly known as Tommy Suharto, of government allegations that he illegally sold off assets to avoid paying debts to the state.

'The panel of judges reject all accusations filed by the plaintiff (the Indonesian government) against all defendants,? judge[punctuation sic the STonline] Reno Lestowo told the court, adding that a countersuit filed by Tommy was also rejected.

The government had alleged that Tommy illegally sold off assets from troubled car importer PT Timor to five of his companies at a discount to avoid paying off state loans made to Timor during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

The civil suit filed in May last year alleged Tommy defrauded the government of $400 million by failing to pay off the loans to the business, which imported South Korean cars and changed their labels to make them appear as if they were made in Indonesia.

The reputed favourite son of the late Suharto enjoyed insider access to business deals during the crony capitalist years leading up to the Asian financial crisis and his father's 1998 fall from power.

Tommy successfully fought off a separate $61 million civil corruption case against him in February 2008, winning $550,000 in a countersuit.

One of six children, the former playboy also served just a third of a 15-year jail term for ordering the murder of a Supreme Court judge in July 2002. He was released in October 2006. -- AFP

... as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart

Live free and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star

Stay free, where no walls divide you
You're free as the roaring tide
So there's no need to hide

Born free, and life is worth living
But only worth living
'cause you're born free

(Stay free, where no walls divide you)
You're free as the roaring tide
So there's no need to hide

Born free, and life is worth living
But only worth living
'cause you're................ born.................. rich
In a completely corrupt country which your father used to run.



marke said...

Gee, he looks like such a nice sweet guy!

The interesting thing about Indonesia is all such serious matters are decided well in advance of the court case.

And getting out after 5 years for the murder case was quite legit ... he was let out for good behaviour - never having caused trouble in prison because he was never there, other than brief (for show)periods in his specially built rooms. markwe

expat@large said...

He IS such a nice sweet guy! His frozen assetts of $10million were released in London by a letter which came fom the Dept of Justice in Jakarta. His personal lawyer was the former Minister of Justice it seems. Of course the gutless judges are going to suck up. It's as bad as Singapore.

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