Civil Suit to Be Filed against Tommy Suharto

JAKARTA ~ Prosecutors plan to file a civil suit against the youngest son of former president Suharto to recover more than US$300 million in missing funds, an official said.

The move was announced on Tuesday, a day after prosecutors filed a $1.5-billion civil suit against Suharto himself, seeking the return of just some of the billions he is accused of amassing during his 32-year rule.

A criminal investigation into a monopoly on the country’s clove trade controlled by Hutomo Mandala Putra, also known as Tommy Suharto, was reopened in May and the Attorney General’s Office has been questioning witnesses.

But the office is also preparing a civil suit demanding the return of some Rp3 trillion ($330 million) that went missing when the clove board was shut down, its director of civil cases Yoseph Suardi Sabda said.

“When the board was dissolved, there was no return of funds and no accountability,” Sabda told reporters.

The civil suit is part of a deal made by Indonesia with a court in Guernsey, which extended a freeze on millions of euros of Tommy’s money on May 23, he added.

Tommy is currently appealing the decision by the court to extend the freeze, which was made at Indonesia’s request.

“The court agreed to extend the freeze on condition that a lawsuit be lodged within three months and be reported back within five months,” Sabda said separately.

“During the sixth month, they will decide whether to extend the freeze (again) or otherwise, depending on the development of the legal process in Indonesia,” he said.

Suharto and his family stand accused of amassing as much as $35 billion in corrupt funds during the president’s rule. He stepped down in 1998 amid a severe economic crisis and massive civil unrest.

Tommy was freed from prison in October 2006 after serving just a third of a 15-year jail sentence for ordering the murder of a Supreme Court judge

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