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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Tommy Suharto gun link denied
Tommy Suharto walks into court on 3 April 2002
The court was once again packed with spectators
A key witness in the murder trial of Tommy Suharto, the son of the former Indonesian president, has said police forced her to make a false statement to implicate Tommy.

The witness denied testifying to police that weapons found in an apartment were Tommy's, as the prosecution has alleged.


They kicked my ankles and thigh

Hetty Siti Hartika
Hetty Siti Hartika, former manager of the apartment, told the Jakarta court that police kicked and harassed her.

Tommy - real name Hutomo Mandala Putra - is charged with masterminding the murder of a judge and with possessing weapons.

If convicted of murder he faces the death penalty.

The witness was giving evidence on the third day of the trial, which has been sitting each Wednesday.

Drive-by shooting

Police witnesses last week said they found weapons and explosives during a raid on Tommy's luxury apartment last year while he was in the run from an 18-month jail sentence handed down by the judge who was murdered.

Charges against Tommy Suharto
Premeditated murder
Illegal possession of firearms
Fleeing to avoid an 18 month conviction
Hetty Siti Hartika is serving a four year prison sentence for storing the weapons. But in court on Wednesday she denied telling police that millionaire playboy Tommy had asked her to do so.

"That's not correct. I did not say such a thing," she told state prosecutor Hasan Madani in cross-examination.

She said police had hurt her and threatened to endanger her family when she was at the police station.

President Suharto
Tommy is the youngest son of the former president
"I was asked where Tommy was. I said 'I don't know' and then they kicked me. They kicked my ankles and thigh," she said.

Supreme Court judge Syafiuddin Kartasasmita was killed in a drive-by shooting in broad daylight last July while Tommy was on the run. Prosecutors say Tommy hired two men and provided the gun.

Tommy, 40, was finally arrested in November after about a year in hiding. Controversially, his corruption conviction had been overturned a month earlier but by then he was a suspect in the murder case.

Correspondents say the trial is being viewed as a significant test of Indonesia's legal and judicial systems, which are still believed to be open to corruption.

Tommy is the favourite son of former President Suharto, who stood down in 1998 amid mass riots. He was accused of corruptly amassing millions of dollars but has been judged too ill to stand trial.

See also:

27 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto denies gun charges
21 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Media frenzy over Tommy Suharto
20 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto murder trial opens
19 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto: Flamboyant playboy
01 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto conviction quashed
26 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto judge shot dead
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