Prosecutors Propose Settling Tommy Suharto Case

JAKARTA ~ Prosecutors set out their terms this week for an out-of-court settlement with Tommy Suharto, the son of the country’s ex-president, over charges he took state money in a land scam.

Prosecutors had filed a civil suit against Hutomo Mandala Putra Suharto – known as Tommy – in a bid to recover funds linked to a land-swap deal in the 1990s.

But they are now hoping to settle the case, and Tommy’s defense team submitted its terms last month.

“So now both sides are in possession of the other side’s peace proposal and the two drafts will be combined in a bid to reach a point of agreement,” state prosecutor Dachmer Munthe said after handing a copy of the proposal to a court.

Munthe declined to reveal how much money prosecutors are seeking but said the case would be dropped if Suharto’s side agreed to the terms.

The prosecution also said both sides agreed that funds belonging to Tommy that have been frozen in a Guernsey bank be repatriated.

Tommy was president of Goro Batara Sakti (GBS), a company that gave the national logistics agency Bulog a worthless swamp in North Jakarta in return for prime land to build a superstore.

The transaction cost the state Rp95.4 billion (about US$600,000 at the time). Another GBS executive is also being sued, along with the former chairman of Bulog.

In 2000 Tommy was sentenced to 18 months’ jail and fined 30 billion rupiah in connection with the transaction – making him the first Suharto to be convicted of corruption. However, he went on the run after he tried and failed to win a presidential pardon.

The conviction was later overturned, but he was jailed two years later for ordering the slaying of a Supreme Court judge who had convicted him in the land swap case.

Tommy was freed last year after serving a third of his 15-year sentence for the killing.

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