A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Indonesia begins court proceedings in civil corruption lawsuit against Suharto

[JURIST] Indonesian prosecutors began court proceedings Monday against former Indonesian President Haji Mohammad Suharto [CNN profile], bringing the government's civil corruption lawsuit [JURIST report] against Suharto for allegedly embezzling $440 million between 1974 and 1998 from the Yayasan Supersemar [official website], a state-funded academic scholarship fund. The court proceedings began after prosecutors for the government failed [JURIST report] to reach a settlement earlier this month. Indonesian law requires that parties try mediation to resolve civil disputes before courts may proceed with a case. Suharto's lawyer Juan Felix Tampubolon has said that the negotiations failed because government prosecutors insisted on terms identical with their suit.

The civil suit is the latest effort by the Indonesian government to hold Suharto accountable for his 32-year reign, which ended in 1998 after public discontent amid the Asian financial crisis erupted into violent protests. Government lawyers are seeking to recover the $440 million in state funds, and an additional $1.1 billion in damages. In January, Indonesian Attorney General Abdul Rahman Saleh announced plans to bring the civil action against Suharto after dropping criminal charges of corruption because Suharto has been rendered unable to speak or write [JURIST reports] as a result of several strokes. ABC News has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.