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Indonesia court dismisses corruption suit against Suharto son

[JURIST] The Central Jakarta District Court on Wednesday dismissed a corruption lawsuit against Hutomo Mandala Putra [BBC profile], son of former Indonesian President Haji Mohammed Suharto [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The suit against Putra, also known as "Tommy Suharto," had been brought by the state and alleged [Jakarta Post report] that he had defrauded the government out of more than $300 million by selling a state-owned car company, PT Timor Putra Nastional. Anti-corruption activists condemned [AFP report] the court's decision to dismiss the charges, citing the close connections between many government officials and the Suharto family. Lawyers for the Indonesian government said they plan to appeal the ruling.

Last year, Putra was cleared of separate civil allegations [JURIST report] involving an allegedly illegal land exchange scam connected to a governmental agency. In October 2006, Putra was released from prison by court order [JURIST report] after serving a sentence for hiring a hitman to kill a Supreme Court judge [BBC report] who had found him guilty in an earlier corruption case.

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