Mon, 17 Apr 2000

Attorney General plans to seize Soeharto's assets

JAKARTA (JP): The Attorney General's Office is planning to block former president Soeharto's accounts and seize his properties as a precautionary measure to safeguard the corruption investigation of the ex-ruler.

A high-ranking official at the Attorney General's Office, who asked for anonymity, confirmed with The Jakarta Post on Sunday his office would soon take measures to secure Soeharto's accounts.

"Whether they are Soeharto's private accounts or under the charity foundations, we will block them," he said, adding that only accounts suspected of being related to the corruption case would be blocked.

"Not only that, will we confiscate his properties as well," he said, but would not say whether his office had already conferred with Bank Indonesia about this step.

The investigation of Soeharto intensified over the past week, with the former president placed under city arrest and an overseas travel ban imposed. A summons has also been issued to question two of his children.

But the questioning of Soeharto was impeded when an independent medical team from Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital declared last week the 78-year-old ex-president unfit to face further questioning, suggesting Soeharto undergo more comprehensive medical tests.

Soeharto is suspected of misusing his power and authority as president in issuing government regulations and decrees.

During a 1998 investigation, Soeharto disclosed that he had Rp 22 billion (some US$3 million) deposited in three private banks -- BCA, BBD and BRI -- and that his personal properties included two houses in Jakarta and five hectares of land, including the family's grave site in Surakarta in Central Java. (01)