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Indonesia lawyers fail to reach settlement in civil land fraud suit against Suharto son

[JURIST] Indonesian prosecutors on Monday announced the breakdown of court-ordered settlement negotiations with lawyers representing Tommy Suharto [BBC report], son of former President Haji Mohammad Suharto [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Indonesian law requires that parties try mediation to resolve civil disputes before courts may proceed with a case, but prosecutors will now go ahead with court proceedings in the government's civil lawsuit, which was filed [AFP report] in August. The charges relate to a scam where Goro Batara Sakti (GBS), a company in which Tommy Suharto served as president and commissioner, traded low value swampland to the state national logistics agency Bulog in return for high value real estate in Jakarta. The plot bilked the state out of approximately 95.4 billion rupiah, valued at $781,612 at the time. Government lawyers are seeking to recover $1.5 million in appropriated funds and damages.

The lawsuit is the latest of several suits brought against Tommy Suharto and his father. In May, prosecutors reopened a corruption probe [JURIST report] into Tommy Suharto's involvement in a Suharto-owned car company's monopoly to build a national car, in which Tommy allegedly earned over $159 million. Last October, Tommy Suharto was released from prison by court order [JURIST report] after serving a 10-year sentence for hiring a hitman to kill a judge [BBC report] who had found him guilty in an earlier corruption case. In September, Indonesian prosecutors began court proceedings [JURIST report] against the elder Suharto in a civil action alleging that he embezzled $440 million from the Yayasan Supersemar, a state-funded scholarship fund, between 1974 and 1998. AFP has more.

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