Suharto family ordered to pay back $324m in embezzled funds

(From Jakarta Globe)

Indonesia’s Supreme Court has ordered the family of former president Suharto to pay back to the state Rp. 4.4 trillion ($324 million) in funds misappropriated during the late strongman’s lengthy reign.

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The court ruled in favor of the prosecution in a civil case against the now-defunct Supersemar Foundation, controlled by the Suharto family. The ruling, made on July 8 but not announced on the court’s website until Monday, revised an earlier ruling in 2010 which ordered the family to pay just a tiny fraction of the losses to the state.

The court repealed a 1976 government regulation issued by the former president ordering all state-owned banks to set aside 2.5 percent of their profits for the foundation. The court ruled that the funds accumulated since the foundation was established — a total sum of $420 million and Rp 185 billion — were largely embezzled and never used for their stated purpose: education.

The court has now ordered the foundation to pay 75 percent of the funds it had amassed over the years, while the 2010 ruling had ordered the Suharto family to pay $315,000 and Rp 185 million — a small sum for the once-powerful family — instead of the $315 million and Rp 185 billion the Attorney General’s Office had sought. The court claimed this was due to a typo.

The AGO only filed for a case review in 2013, around the same time the Suharto family filed a separate motion looking to reverse the order.

The court “granted the case review filed by the state [the AGO] and rejected the case review filed by the Supersemar Foundation,” the latest ruling states.

Hearing the case were Supreme Court judges Suwardi, Soltony Mohdally and Mahdi Soroinda Nasution.

Attorney General M. Prasetyo said on Monday that his office would follow up on the ruling.

“I haven’t read the ruling. I will read it first and then we will know what to do next,” he said, as quoted by Gatra magazine.

 



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