Megawati's Party Calls for Judges to Be Sacked over Suharto Verdict
The largest party in Indonesia's parliament called Monday for the sacking of the Supreme Court judges who last week cleared the fugitive son of former president Suharto of a graft charge.
The Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDIP), which is chaired by President Megawati Sukarnoputri, said the judges had based their verdict on Tommy Suharto on the law but failed to heed the public's sense of justice, Antara news agency reported.
"We urge [Supreme Court Chief Justice] Bagir Manan to take action against the justices for their incompetence by proposing to the president to dismiss them," said Teras Narang, the spokesman for the PDIP faction in parliament.
The fourth largest political party, the National Awakening Party, also called on the judges to resign, accusing them of having failed to take into account the public's sense of justice.
In a widely criticized verdict, three judges on October 1 quashed the conviction and 18-month prison sentence on Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra Suharto, the youngest son of former president Suharto.
The verdict came following a demand for a case review filed by Tommy's lawyers.
The judges said new evidence had emerged to show that Tommy was not part of his company's day-to-day operations at the time of the corruption and thus could not take the blame.
Other Supreme Court judges had sentenced Tommy in September last year over a multi-million-dollar land scam involving his firm and the national logistics agency Bulog.
Teras, who is also chairman of the House commission on legal affairs, said his party backed the decision by the attorney general's to file an application for a case review.
The faction also urged the People's Consultative Assembly, the highest lawmaking body, to discuss the supreme court's performance during its annual session next month.
Tommy, a former millionaire playboy, became a fugitive last November when he failed to turn himself in to serve the jail sentence.
In August police intensified their search after accusing him of ordering the drive-by shooting of Syafiuddin Kartasasmita, one of the judges who sentenced him.
Police have also accused Tommy of being behind some bombings in the capital in recent years.
Tommy, 39, was the only member of the Suharto family to be convicted of corruption.
His father is charged with embezzling some 571 million dollars of state funds during his 32 years as president. But court officials say he is unfit to face trial as a result of a stroke -- JAKARTA (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)