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Suharto charity told to pay $110m

Former leader Suharto, file image
Suharto never faced trial, despite corruption claims

A charitable foundation set up by Indonesia's late ruler Suharto has been ordered to pay $110m (£55m) following a corruption investigation.

Prosecutors said money was diverted to Suharto's family from a scholarship fund for underprivileged children.

In his ruling, civil court judge Wahyono cleared the former president of any wrongdoing but said the Supersemar foundation had broken the law.

Suharto, who died in January, ruled Indonesia between 1967 and 1998.

He was ousted by mass protests and suffered from years of poor health - one of the reasons why he never faced a corruption trial.

A rights group labelled him the world's leading kleptocrat.

Damages

The Supersemar case began last year while Suharto was still alive.

The Indonesian government had claimed $440m was channelled from the foundation to Suharto's family and friends while he was in power.

But Judge Wahyono ruled that Suharto and his family were not directly responsible for the embezzlement.

"The first defendant [Suharto] is acquitted, but the Supersemar foundation, the second defendant, has to pay some of the damages," he said.

"[Supersemar] has engaged in actions that went against the law and therefore should pay."

The judge said there had been a misuse of funds, but it was not clear how much was state finances.

So he ruled that the foundation should pay 25% of the amount the government said was stolen.

Prosecutors had also argued the government should receive more than $1bn in damages, but the judge dismissed the claim.




SEE ALSO
Suharto son civil charges dropped
28 Feb 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Suharto buried in state funeral
28 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Suharto case begins in Indonesia
09 Aug 07 |  Asia-Pacific


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