Sat, 05 Apr 2003

Police offer help in royal dispute

CIREBON, West Java: Police here offered their help to prove the validity of the late Cirebon sultan's will, which was at the center of a royal dispute that resulted in last month's double crowning of two heirs claiming the same crown.

"If we were asked to verify the will of the Kanoman Palace, we would certainly honor the request," said Adj. Sr. Comr Siswandi on Friday.

The eleventh sultan of the kingdom, Prince Haji Muhammad Djalaluddin, died last year. His family has since been in dispute over who should follow him.

In his will, he appointed Saladin as his successor. The son of one of Djalaluddin's concubines, Saladin faces opposition from Muhammad Emirudin, the queen's first son.

Kanoman tradition recognizes only Emirudin as the twelfth sultan, but this has become difficult due to Djalaluddin's will.

Saladin and Emirudin were both crowned last month in separate ceremonies deemed illegitimate by the palace's council of patrons. As of yet, neither is willing to relinquish his crown.

"We can check whether the testament is authentic or not, but we can't say whether it's valid," said Siswandi. -- Antara