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The BBC's Richard Galpin
"Prosecutors say...he can no longer contest the Supreme Court verdict"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 3 October, 2000, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Suharto son begs clemency
Tommy Suharto arrives to answer a summons
Tommy Suharto faces an 18 month sentence
Tommy Suharto, the youngest son of former Indonesian President Suharto, has appealed for clemency after admitting his guilt in a $10.8m property scam.


He was a bit negligent in keeping a close eye on his directors

Bob Nasution, Suharto lawyer
But most analysts believe it is unlikely President Abdurrahman Wahid will pardon Tommy Suharto who has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Mr Wahid has already strongly criticised last week's decision to dismiss the $570m graft case against the elder Mr Suharto.

He has also linked Tommy Suharto to a series of bombings in Jakarta.

Tommy Suharto, the most flamboyant of the Suharto children, had been expected to begin his jail sentence on Monday.

However his lawyers have asked for a delay in plans to arrest him.

Mr Suharto
Charges have been dropped against Mr Suharto

They also requested that a court order that he pay 30 billion rupiah ($3.5m) in compensation to the state be dropped.

Negligent

His lawyer Bob RE Nasution admitted on Tuesday that his client had been "a bit negligent in keeping a close eye on his directors".

But he added: "As a citizen he asked for a pardon. Even God himself forgives his children who have made mistakes."

Mr Suharto, who had earlier denied any wrongdoing, is the first member of the Suharto family to be convicted of corruption during his father's 32-year rule.

The Supreme Court verdict, which surprised many, overturned an earlier ruling by a lower court which had acquitted him of corruption in the property deal.

Mr Suharto lodged his clemency appeal with the Attorney General after failing to answer a summons on Monday.

But he refused to answer questions as he emerged from the Jakarta office.

"I'm not talking ifs," he replied when asked what he would do if President Wahid refused to pardon him.

Violence

Doctors show court scans of Mr Suharto's brain
Doctors say strokes have left Mr Suharto brain damaged

Jakarta remains on alert for violence from Suharto supporters.

A series of bomb blasts coincided with attempts to try his father. Mr Wahid has blamed the attacks on Suharto loyalists including Tommy.

A separate $570m corruption trial against the elder Mr Suharto was dropped last Thursday after judges ruled that the 79-year-old former president was physically and mentally unfit to answer the charges.

The decision to drop the trial sparked violent clashes between pro and anti-Suharto protesters and police.

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See also:

28 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto son arrest ordered
15 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Profile: Suharto's playboy son
16 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Police question Suharto's son
29 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid angry over Suharto release
28 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto's fortune
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