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Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Police step up hunt for Tommy Suharto
Tommy Suharto
Tommy: Convicted for corruption linked to a land scam
Indonesian police have launched another nation-wide hunt for Tommy Suharto, the fugitive son of former President Suharto.

Police also named him as their main suspect in the drive-by killing three weeks ago of a Supreme Court judge.


We will urge him to turn himself in, if and when [he] calls the family,

Tommy Suharto's wife
On Monday night, they detained Tommy Suharto's nephew for questioning after finding 70 rounds of live ammunition at his Jakarta house while searching for Tommy Suharto.

Tommy Suharto (real name Hutomo Mandala Putra) has been on the run since last November when he failed to turn himself in to serve an 18-month prison sentence for corruption.

The head of the Jakarta police force said officers throughout the country had now been given specific orders to track down Tommy Suharto.

The sudden spurt of action by the police follows orders given by the new President, Megawati Sukarnoputri, to find Tommy Suharto more than nine months after he disappeared to avoid a prison sentence.

Tommy's Suharto's wife, Tata
Tommy's wife, Tata, was questioned by police
But our Jakarta correspondent Richard Galpin says senior lawyers have criticised the police investigation as extremely amateur.

Many observers also believe the Suharto family is still being protected by elements from within the security forces.

Police also want to question him about the drive-by shooting last month of the judge who sentenced him, which they have publicly accused him of masterminding, and over a series of bomb attacks in the capital.

They have stepped up their efforts to arrest Tommy, spreading wanted posters across Jakarta and raiding homes belonging to him and his family.

Posters show a picture of Tommy with a beard, which police says he has used for a fake ID under the name Ibrahim.

Police questioning

Tommy Suharto's nephew, Ari Sigit Suharto, was detained on Monday night during the search for Tommy, said Jakarta police spokesman Anton Bahrul Alam.

Tommy Suharto's eldest sister, Tutut
Tommy's sister said he wants to clear his name
"His detention will be based on the law which stipulates police can detain a suspect after 24 hours of questioning," he said.

On Monday Tommy's wife, Ardhia Pramesti Regita "Tata" Cahyani, was questioned for six hours by police and later called on her husband to surrender.

"We will urge him to turn himself in," she told reporters. "If and when (he) calls the family, we will urge him to clear himself."

His eldest sister Siti "Tutut" Hardiyanti Rukmana, who has also been questioned, last week told police that her brother had telephoned her and told her he wanted to hand himself in.

No time frame was given for that to happen, but last week Jakarta police chief Sofyan Yacub said he was confident the fugitive would surrender.

See also:

10 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto son 'offers' to surrender
08 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto son wanted for $54,000
07 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto's son linked to killing
26 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto judge shot dead
30 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto's bank accounts frozen
16 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
Police break into Suharto bunker
07 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Profile: Suharto's playboy son
29 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto escapes - again
04 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
No pardon for Tommy Suharto
28 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto's fortune
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