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Court approves request to seize Suharto charity assets

Jakarta Post - April 26, 2000

Court approves request to seize charity assets

JAKARTA (JP): The South Jakarta District Court gave its preliminary approval on Tuesday to the request by the Attorney General's Office to seize assets belonging to seven charity foundations set up and chaired by former president Soeharto.

A member of the state prosecutors team investigating Soeharto's alleged corruption confirmed to The Jakarta Post that the official approval would be issued on Wednesday pending completion of the resume of the ongoing questioning of the former ruler.

The source, who requested anonymity, said that one of Soeharto's assets situated in South Jakarta would be confiscated as evidence following the approval.

He said that according to the letter of request from the Attorney General's Office dated April 18, the court will allow the sealing of Granadi Building located on Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said.

The building is currently used as the offices of Soeharto's foundations, including the Supersemar, Dana Karya Abadi, Amal Bakti Muslim Pancasila, Trikora, Dana Sejahtera Mandiri, Gotong Royong Kemanusiaan and Dharmais.

A major part of the 20-story building is being leased for commercial purposes.

"The building will be first to be seized to avoid the possibility that the suspect transfers ownership of the facility," he said.

He added that the team of prosecutors are listing other assets belonging to Soeharto. "We will soon submit further requests for seizure after clarifying the list of assets."

Soeharto is suspected of abusing his power and authority as president by issuing decrees and government regulations to amass funds through the foundations.


Separately, Attorney General Marzuki Darusman announced on Tuesday that his office in cooperation with the National Police would take actions against gambling operations allegedly organized by young businessman Tommy Winata.

Marzuki said that during his conversation with National Police Chief Let. Gen. Rusdihardjo on Monday night, the two institutions had agreed to follow up President Abdurrahman Wahid's instruction to arrest Tommy, also the owner of Bank Artha Graha.

"The police force will soon stop the gambling operations which reportedly have been running on Ayer island, north of Jakarta Bay and on a cruise ship which sails on a runabout," he told journalists at his office.

In a talk show "Mimbar Bebas Bersama Gus Dur" broadcast by private television station SCTV on Monday night, President Abdurrahman said that he had instructed the police to seize a cruise ship belonging to a young businessman, which serves as a gambling den, and to arrest its owner.

During the talk show, noted lawyer Hotma Sitompoel chided Gus Dur for violating the principle of presumption of innocence. "He has yet to be proven guilty by the court," he said.

Tommy's lawyer, Amir Syamsudin, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that the cruise ship and Ayer island are not his client's properties. "They are not his and he definitely doesn't do such practices as charged to him.

"He is ready to face questioning in connection with the accusations," Amir said of his 42-year client.

Amir dismissed reports that Tommy has fled the country, saying his client was still in the capital as of Tuesday afternoon.

Marzuki said that both his office and the police had identified the big boss of the gambling operations, and that they were now arranging further action.

"The superior is not Tommy Winata. Somebody else is behind this gambling syndicate," he said, without elaborating.

He added that now the National Police and the Navy are hunting for the cruise ship. (01)

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