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Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK
Tommy Suharto 'still sought for murder'
Tommy Suharto outside court, March 2000
Tommy Suharto, pictured in 2000, is still on the run
Tommy Suharto, the fugitive son of former Indonesian President Suharto, is still wanted in connection with a murder - despite his acquittal on corruption charges, the attorney general has said.

The millionaire playboy has been on the run since last November when he failed to hand himself in for an 18-month prison sentence for graft.

In a controversial move, the Supreme Court overturned that conviction on Monday.


We will try to push the other cases, including the assassination of the judge

Attorney General Muhamad Abdul Rachman
But police still want to question Tommy over the murder of the judge who originally upheld his conviction, as well as over a spate of bombings in the capital, Jakarta.

On Tuesday, one of Tommy Suharto's lawyers said the fugitive was ready to hand himself in within weeks.

Attorney General Muhamad Abdul Rachman said on Wednesday that Tommy Suharto was under suspicion.

"This acquittal will not eradicate his other misdeeds," he told reporters after meeting President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

"We will try to push the other cases, including the assassination of the judge."

Anger at ruling

Police say they have evidence that Tommy - real name Hutomo Mandala Putra - masterminded the 26 July drive-by shooting of Supreme Court Justice Syafiuddin Kartasasmita.

Students protest against the acquittal of Tommy Suharto
There have been protests against Monday's ruling
Police have been accused of bungling the search for Tommy, despite a series of high-profile raids and a new burst of publicity in August, when the search appeared to intensify.

Monday's verdict has drawn angry criticism from anti-corruption activists, politicians and government officials.

Accusations

An editorial in the Jakarta Post newspaper said the ruling "has destroyed what little credibility was left on what is supposed to be the last bastion of justice in this country."

Justice Taufik, one of three judges who acquitted Tommy Suharto
Justice Taufik has denied taking bribes from the Suharto family
The original conviction was over a multi-million dollar land scam involving a company owned by Tommy Suharto.

But a panel of three judges ruled on Monday that he did not have day-to-day control of the company at the time of the 1995 scam, and therefore could not take the blame.

One of the judges subsequently denied he had taken bribes from the wealthy Suharto family to acquit Tommy.

"If you can prove I accepted a bribe, report me to the attorney general," Supreme Court Deputy Chairman Muhamad Taufik told reporters.

Tommy, 39, was the only member of the Suharto family to be convicted of corruption.

Former President Suharto was charged with embezzling $571m of state funds, but court officials ruled that he was unfit to face trial following a stroke.

See also:

02 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto 'ready to surrender'
01 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto conviction quashed
14 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Police step up hunt for Tommy Suharto
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
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