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Friday, 5 April, 2002, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Indonesian speaker released
Akbar Tandjung escorted into court for the opening of his corruption trial
Mr Tandjung could face 20 years in jail if convicted
An Indonesian court has freed the parliamentary speaker Akbar Tandjung from detention pending a verdict in his multi-million dollar corruption trial.

Mr Tandjung is accused of helping divert around $4m of state funds to his own party for its campaign in the last general election in 1999.

He was detained a month ago, and his trial got underway on 25 March.

The announcement of his release followed a promise from his wife that he would attend the trial hearings.

"He is no longer detained. He can go anywhere as long as he comes at the time of a trial session or for questioning," Central Jakarta Court spokesman Andi Samsan Nganro told reporters

He was expected within hours to leave the attorney-general's office, where he has been held.

Mr Tandjung, who heads the country's second largest political party Golkar, has denied any wrongdoing.

If convicted, he could face a 20-year jail term and Golkar could be disqualified from contesting the next election, although many analysts believe this is unlikely.

Mr Tandjung is due back in court on Monday for the third session of his trial.

See also:

25 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Trial of Indonesian speaker opens
24 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Profile: Akbar Tandjung
20 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto murder trial opens
19 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Top military attend Timor trial
24 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
China pledges $400m to Indonesia
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