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Indonesia high court overturns Suharto defamation verdict against TIME

[JURIST] The Indonesian Supreme Court overturned Thursday a 2007 decision [JURIST report] against TIME magazine [media website] awarding the late former Indonesian president Haji Mohammad Suharto [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] $106 million in damages in Suharto's defamation suit against the publication. Suharto sued TIME over a 1999 article [text] that said Suharto had hidden billions of dollars in foreign banks. The Supreme Court overturned the 2007 ruling, saying [AFP report] that the 1999 article was not against the law and that no press ethics laws were violated.

Suharto, who ruled Indonesia from 1967 to 1998, died [JURIST report] in late January 2008. In March 2008, an Indonesian court cleared Suharto [JURIST report] of charges brought by government lawyers in a civil corruption case [JURIST report] against his estate in connection to allegations that he embezzled $440 million from the Yayasan Supersemar [official website], a state-funded scholarship fund, between 1974 and 1998. Earlier criminal corruption charges were dropped in 2006 because Suharto was rendered unable to speak or write [JURIST reports] as a result of several strokes.

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