Court overturns lawsuit
against Tommy Soeharto

The Central Jakarta District Court on Wednesday overturned the finance minister's civil case against Tommy Soeharto on the transfer of ownership of Tommy's company PT Timor Putra Nastional (PT TPN).

"The lawsuit is completely overturned," presiding judge Reno Listowo told the court.

According to Listowo, the panel of judges deemed defendants I (PT Vista Bella Pratama), II (PT Buana Mandala Bakti), III (PT Humpuss), IV (PT TPN), V (Tommy Soeharto) not guilty as charged.

"Defendants I, II, III, IV, and V have not violated the law," the judge said, as quoted by Antara news.

The state, represented by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, previously lodged a civil lawsuit against the defendants on the grounds that the sale of Timor to Vista Bella Pratama was illegal, as the company remained under the same ownership.

The dispute started when Tommy's automotive company Timor relinquished its assets to the now defunct Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) in 1999 as a guarantee for its Rp
4.57 trillion (US$388.5 million) debt to the state.

In April 2003, the IBRA sold the assets to Vista Bella Pratama for just Rp 512 million.

But the assets excluded the Rp 1.23 trillion deposited by Timor, which failed to declare the deposit among its assets.

The money then became the subject of a legal dispute between the government and Vista Bella, which was later identified by the Corruption Eradication Commission as being affiliated with Timor. (amr)

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