Indonesian Prosecutors Seize another House of Suharto Fugitive Son
Indonesian prosecutors on Tuesday seized another house belonging to the fugitive son of former president Suharto to be used as a guarantee for the payment of court fines.
Six prosecutors, led by head of the intelligence section of the prosecutor's office A. Zainuri, confiscated the house next to the elder Suharto's residence in the well-heeled residential quarter of Menteng in Central Jakarta.
"We are confiscating this house, but we are leaving it in the care of the owner or the inhabitant for maintenance so that they can still stay there, but we have the right to come there anytime," Zainuri said.
It was the fourth property owned by Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra to be confiscated by authorities as collateral for a 30 billion rupiah (3.23 million dollar) fine ordered by the Supreme Court in September.
Tommy's lawyer Elsa Syarif, present at the confiscation, called on the authorities to be transparent about the value of the assets seized.
"The South Jakarta district court should be open about the value of the assets owned by Tommy which have been confiscated, because a lot of assets have been confiscated already," Syarif said.
Tommy, a 38-year-old millionaire businessman was declared a fugitive on November 3 after failing to surrender to authorities to serve an 18-month jail term for corruption.
The Supreme Court on September 22 overturned acquittals by two lower courts, finding Tommy and his business partner Richard Gelael guilty of causing the state 10.7 million dollars in losses through a land swap scam.
Gelael has already gone to jail.
If jailed, Tommy -- a one-time womanizer, now married with a child -- would be the first in the family to be put behind bars since Suharto was ousted in May of 1998.
He and his five siblings control some of the country's biggest conglomerates, obtained prior to their father's fall.
Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, who earlier denied Tommy a presidential pardon, said last week that police had found the fugitive in East Java in December, but had allowed him to slip through their fingers.
Police denied the charges -- JAKARTA (AFP)
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