Thu, 20 Nov 2003

Yusril admits to intervention

JAKARTA: Minister of Justice and Human Rights Yusril Ihza Mahendra said on Wednesday that he had intervened to stop the Supreme Court from promoting a district court chief in Jakarta.

Yusril told House of Representatives Commission II on legal and home affairs that he vetoed the Supreme Court's plan to promote Judge Lalu Mariyun, a former head of the South Jakarta District Court, to the Kendari District Court in Southeast Sulawesi.

"I said no," Yusril said, adding that his intervention was "nothing but a matter of appropriateness".

Lalu was instead moved to Surabaya as a judge with the East Java High Court.

The judge is no stranger to controversy. He led a panel of judges who decided former president Soeharto was not fit to stand trial on graft charges.

In September 2000, Lalu acquitted Soeharto's youngest son, Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra, and businessman Ricardo Gelael on corruption charges in the high-profile Bulog land deal. -- JP