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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Tommy Suharto 'threatened' judge
Tommy Suharto (left) with his lawyers Elza Syarief (centre) and Juan Felix Tampubolon (right), Jakarta court, 17 April 2002.
Tommy (left) sat next to his lawyer Elza Syarief in court
The widow of a murdered judge broke down in tears in an Indonesian court as she told how murder suspect Tommy Suharto tried to influence a corruption case by threatening and trying to bribe her husband.

Chain of events
Sep 00: Tommy found guilty of corruption
Oct 00: Tommy allegedly threatened judge
Nov 00: Conviction upheld; Tommy goes on the run
July 01: Judge shot dead
Oct 01: Corruption conviction overturned
Nov 01: Tommy captured
Soima, widow of Supreme Court judge Syafiuddin Kartasasmita, told the packed court that the youngest son of former President Suharto had threatened her husband in October 2000.

Tommy - whose real name is Hutomo Mandala Putra - is on trial charged with masterminding the judge's murder in July 2001.

Tommy was at the time on the run from an 18-month corruption conviction handed down by Judge Kartasasmita.

The former millionaire playboy is accused of hiring two hitmen and of supplying the guns.

If convicted of murder he faces the death penalty.

Judge Kartasasmita's widow said her husband told her that Tommy's lawyer Elza Syarief wanted to see him and to offer him 200 million rupiah (now worth $21,276) to clear Tommy of the graft charges.

"I told him to be careful in handling Tommy's case and he told me, 'It's all right. I already asked for the money to be returned'," Soima told the Jakarta court on Wednesday.


She said her husband had met Tommy at a house in Jakarta in October 2000.

Tommy Suharto with his Rolls Royce
The president's son was famous for his lavish lifestyle
She said her husband quoted Tommy as saying: "Sir, if someone is nice to me, I can be nice to him in return, but if he is mean I can do worse than what he does to me."

But Tommy told the court Ms Syarief was not his lawyer at the time and he denied making any threats.

The judge's wife was giving evidence on the fifth day of Tommy Suharto's trial, which has been sitting each Wednesday.

Charges against Tommy Suharto
Premeditated murder
Illegal possession of firearms
Fleeing to avoid an 18 month conviction
Tommy's corruption conviction was controversially overturned last October while he was still on the run. He was finally captured in November after about a year in hiding.

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, 40, 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:

10 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
Guns 'found' in Tommy Suharto flat
03 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto gun link denied
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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