Indonesia to keep assets of ex-president Suharto's son
Fri, Jul 16, 2010

JAKARTA - Indonesia's Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the finance ministry keeping 1.22 trillion rupiah ($185 million) of assets of a company linked to the son of ex-President Suharto.

The case illustrates how the clan of Suharto, who ruled Indonesia for 32 years, has seen its influence dwindle since Suharto stepped down in 1998.

The legal case started when now-defunct car assembler PT Timor Putra Nasional (TPN) defaulted on its loans to Indonesian state banks when the Asian financial crisis hit in 1997-1998.

TPN was set up by Suharto's youngest son, Hutomo Mandala Putra - also known as Tommy Suharto - to build Indonesia's national car in the 1990s.

The project attracted widespread criticism as TPN sold rebranded versions of South Korean cars.

The finance ministry ordered a freeze of the assets following the default, but the firm filed a civil case against the move. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the finance ministry, which had appealed a previous decision favouring TPN.

Tommy Suharto, once sentenced to jail for murdering a Supreme Court judge, has been released from prison and is now operating several businesses, including the listed logistics company Humpus HITS.JK .




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