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Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Suharto daughter denies $45bn fortune
Tutut and Suharto
Tutut (left) has always been a close associate of her father
The eldest daughter of disgraced former Indonesian President Suharto has denied suggestions made by President Abdurrahman Wahid that her father is sitting on a $45bn fortune.


If it's true, go ahead and take it. Don't wait until the family returns it.

Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana

Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana, known as "Tutut", was speaking after being questioned for three hours by prosecutors investigating charges that her father amassed a fortune during his 32 years in office.

"It's not true that father has $45 billion," she told reporters. "If it's true, go ahead and take it. Don't wait until the family returns it."

She added that if they found any money the government should use it to improve the welfare of the Indonesian people.

Suharto
The former president is under house arrest

President Wahid said last week that the former leader could be pardoned if he returned most of the money.

However, Tutut denied her father had any money in banks overseas, and rejected suggestions that her family was negotiating with the government to return most of its wealth to the state.

Mr Suharto's second son Bambang Trihatmojo, has also denied reports that the family has been negotiating to donate some the family's wealth to the state.

House arrest

President Wahid
President Wahid has offered to pardon Suharto if he returns the money

The 79-year-old former leader is being held under house arrest for allegedly siphoning off millions of dollars from several charitable institutions he once controlled.

Last week Indonesian Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman appealed to Swiss banking authorities to help recover any cash that may have been hidden there.

He has vowed to bring Mr Suharto to trial by 15 August at the latest.

For his part, Mr Suharto has repeatedly denied doing anything wrong.

His lawyers have also argued that he is unfit to stand trial on the corruption charges because of loss of memory and speech problems as a result of a mild stroke he suffered last year.

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See also:

21 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto 'has $45bn' hidden away
15 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto promised pardon if cash returned
31 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto: Shades of Pinochet?
13 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto placed under 'city arrest'
10 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Doctors stop Suharto questioning
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