Thu, 26 Oct 2000

Soeharto trial

From Republika

"The trial of the former president Soeharto will commence after the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Annual Meeting. The relevant dossier has been handed over by the prosecutor's office to the South Jakarta District Court," (Republika, Aug. 10). Soeharto is accused of corruption under Law No.33/1971.

I am of the opinion that it is not right and proper for a former president to be tried by this court. There is a precedent where a former Cabinet minister (Sultan Hamid II) was tried directly by the Supreme Court.

I am referring to the 1950 Constitution that says high-ranking officials, even after they have stepped down, are to be tried in the first and the highest instances by the Supreme Court, which I believe can be applied to the case of Soeharto.

Should there be any doubt about this opinion of mine, the President could consult the Supreme Court for a fatwa (decree).