Wed, 18 Oct 2000

Tommy cannot seek review of verdict, says Yusril

JAKARTA (JP): Minister of Justice and Human Rights Yusril Ihza Mahendra said that former president Soeharto's son Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra, who was sentenced to an 18-month jail sentence for corruption, could not seek a judicial review of the court's verdict as he is also seeking a pardon from President Abdurrahman Wahid.

"His requests for a pardon and a review of the verdict are mutually contradictory," he told The Jakarta Post here on Tuesday, adding that the verdict must be executed immediately as the President has already said he would reject the petition for a pardon.

The President said recently that he would not pardon Soeharto's youngest son who, along with his business partner Ricardo Gelael, was convicted of a Rp 95 billion (US$11 million) land swindle.

However, Abdurrahman has also admitted that he has personally met with Tommy at a private meeting in which Tommy reportedly again requested a pardon.

Many see Tommy's attempt to simultaneously petition for a judicial review and a pardon as being a ruse to avoid having to serve time in jail.

Yusril on Tuesday said Tommy could appeal to the Supreme Court to review the verdict while serving his jail sentence, if he had new evidence disproving the corruption charges.

"But, first of all, he (Tommy) must serve the jail sentence. If he appeals to the court with new evidence (novum in Indonesian law), then that is another matter," he said. (rms)