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Time to pay Suharto Ł53m

Ali Kotarumalos in Jakarta
Tuesday September 11, 2007
The Guardian


The supreme court has ordered Time magazine to pay $106m (Ł53m) in damages for defaming former Indonesian dictator Suharto by alleging that his family amassed $15bn during his 32-year rule.
The May 1999 cover story in the magazine's Asian edition said that much of the money had been transferred from Switzerland to Austria before Suharto stepped down amid riots in 1998.

Suharto, who has also been accused of widespread human rights abuses, had filed a lawsuit with the Jakarta district and later to the high court, both of which ruled in Time's favour.


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A panel of three supreme court judges, including a retired general who rose in the military ranks during Suharto's administration, overturned the decisions on August 31.
The ruling ordered Time Inc. Asia and six employees to apologise in leading Indonesian magazines and newspapers as well as Time's Asian, European and America editions.

"The article and photographs hurt the image and pride of the plaintiff as a great retired army general and the former Indonesian president," a supreme court spokesman told The Associated Press.

Suharto's lawyer, Muhamad Assegaf, welcomed the "surprise verdict".

The former dictator, now 86, seized power in a 1965 coup that left up to half a million people dead, and over the next three decades, killed or imprisoned hundreds of thousands of opponents.

Time could not be immediately reached for comment. The magazine has said its article was based on four months of reporting across 11 countries that uncovered a complex network of investments, bank transfers and property holdings.


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Added: Sep-10-2007 
By: andy_harrington78
In:
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Tags: Suharto, Jakarta, Indonesia, communist, pogrom, Time Magazine, Dictator, corrupt, stolen, libel, slander, evil
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