15 Jul 2011

Corruption allegations against Suharto

Corruption allegations against Suharto

In December 1998 the former president, Suharto, was formally questioned for the first time over allegations that he illegally amassed a fortune, estimated at between US$4–20 billion, during his 32 years in power. In October 1999, amid an atmosphere of mounting political tension, Indonesian legal authorities decided to drop a corruption investigation into financial irregularities allegedly committed by Suharto because of insufficient evidence. However, the allegations were brought against him again in March 2000 when he was ordered to appear in front of the attorney-general for questioning, but was reported by his lawyers to be too ill to do so. This, his second refusal to appear for questioning, was responded to by the public with violent demonstrations. Actions were renewed in April 2000, banning him from leaving the capital.
There were protests, some violent, demanding his imprisonment. He was placed under house arrest the following month, however in September 2000, a court ruled that, having suffered from three stokes in the past year, Suharto was incapable of standing trial. In October 2000, his son, Tommy Suharto, was arrested in connection with a bomb that had killed 15 people in Jakarta's financial district. Tommy admitted his part in the US$11 million corruption scandal that surrounded the Suharto presidency and was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment. He was the first member of the Suharto family to admit any wrongdoing.

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