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Seize Suharto Assets!

Two releases here, 1) from CAFCA; 2) from East Timor Independence Committee

1) Chief Reporter

21 September 1999


As New Zealand troops head towards the killing fields of East Timor, the Government can strike a blow right here at the very people responsible for the carnage. Not the machete murderers of the militia. No, we can strike at the people at the very top - the former First Family of Indonesia, the Suhartos, and their cronies. President Suharto was responsible for the 1975 invasion of East Timor, and the genocidal occupation that followed it. He has the blood of hundreds of thousands of Timorese on his hands. According to Time's definitive cover story on the Suhartos' illgotten wealth (24/5/99), the Suharto family owns nearly 40%of East Timor. It is imperative that the Government seize New Zealand properties and corporate assets held in New Zealand by the Suharto family and their cronies. They have been gained through institutionalised corruption, and may very well feature at the international war crimes tribunal to be set up to prosecute the perpetrators of the East Timor genocide. The Proceeds of Crime Act provides NZ legal precedent for this.

The best known Suharto asset here was the Lilybank resort, in the Mackenzie Country, owned by son Tommy. As of July 1999, that was stated to have been sold. The Government must freeze that sale and investigate whether it has simply been transferred to cronies. Suharto's daughter Siti owns two alpine chalets in Queenstown. These must be seized. They are situated in Goldfields Heights, a subdivision which features leading figures from the Suharto and Habibie regimes (Siti's husband is the former commander of the special forces, and a prime candidate for any war crimes tribunal). This whole subdivision needs investigation.

There are corporate connections as well. Brierley Investments Ltd is dominated by an Asian consortium - the Indonesian part of which is owned by Liem Sioe Liong, the richest man in Indonesia, and the longest standing crony of former President Suharto. The Suharto family is directly connected to Brierley's - Tommy Suharto has a joint venture with BIL subsidiary, AsiaPower, and he is listed in BIL's 1998 annual report as a director of Mandala Nusantara Ltd, a subsidiary of BIL Asia Holdings Ltd. These corporate assets must likewise be investigated and seized. Our research has established that there are many other examples of Indonesian investment in NZ connected to Suharto cronies or directly to the family.

And ordinary Kiwis can boycott Bali. Much of the tourism industry there is owned by the Suharto family and cronies. Time (24/5/99) revealed how Tommy acquired land there for a resort - villagers who refused to sell to him were "intimidated, beaten and sometimes put into a pond up to their necks..." So, by seizing the NZ assets of the Suharto family and cronies, we would be striking at the very people most responsible for the East Timor genocide, and the ones who have most profited from it.

Murray Horton Secretary/Organiser

Ph (03) 3663988

Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa PO Box 2258, Christchurch email:

2) East Timor Independence Committee

21 September, 1999

MEDIA RELEASE: Call for New Zealand to seize the assets of the Suharto family.

The East Timor Independence Committee endorses the call for New Zealand to strike out against Suharto family properties and corporate assets in New Zealand. The Campaign against Foreign Control (CAFCA) today called for the Government to seize Suharto assets in New Zealand under the Proceeds of Crime Act. CAFCA also supports the "Boycott Bali" Campaign which calls for ordinary kiwis to shun Bali as a holiday destination.

"It is an affront to our decency that Suharto's daughter Siti Hediati Hariyadi should be allowed to benefit from a luxury hideout on the slopes above Queenstown. The evidence that her wealth was gained by corruption and graft is overwhelming. Moreover, her husband Lt. General Prabowo Subianto has played a key role in the brutal massacres that have taken place in East Timor. He was deposed as head of the feared Kopassus special forces only last year, and there are rumours that he has been seen very recently among the military and militia patrolling the refugee camps on the West Timor border."

"The Lilybank resort formerly owned by Tommy Suharto is said to have been sold - but may have been simply transferred to cronies - the Government must investigate the sale."

"CAFCA is to be applauded for its ongoing investigation of the corporate links between New Zealand businesses and the Suharto family. Brierley Investments is the best known example of a company which has significant Indonesian - Suharto crony connections. Liem Sioe Liong, said to the be the richest man in Indonesia, and his Salim group are a major player in the Camerlin sydicate which has 20% of Brierley shares."

"President Suharto has the ultimate responsibility for a 24 year reign for genocide in East Timor. His family through myriad companies own an estimated 40% of East Timor and many of the industries such as cement and sugar. Militia leaders such as Joao Tavares, are wealthy landowners in East Timor because they have collaborated with the Suharto and Habibie regimes. "

"New Zealand must stop trading in terror - the time is well overdue for us to cut all links to the murderous Indonesian regime which has sent the East Timorese people to the very depths of hell. We should investigate an seize all Suharto family assets, end business links to Suharto linked companies and boycott holiday travel to Bali."

"Above all we should end all training ties to the Indonesian military - Max Bradford must not be allowed to get away with the feeble excuse that the 4 Indonesian military still here are doing post graduate studies. They are members of a military which has committed genocide and they must be sent packing forthwith."

for further information: Maire Leadbeater - 09-376-9098 (cell phone 025-436-957)
East Timor Independence Committee,
P.O. Box 68-419,
New Zealand.

*** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. ***

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