[Kabar-indonesia] Tempo Cover Story: Return of the Cendana Prince [+Still in Control]
Joyo at aol.com
Joyo at aol.com
Tue Nov 7 07:03:20 MST 2006
also: Tommy Still in Control
TEMPO Magazine No. 10/VII/Nov 07 - 13, 2006
The Return of the Cendana Prince
The Goverment Granted Tommy Soeharto A conditional Releas
He is Now Free After Receiving 36 Months And Five Days
Remission Off His Sentences the Favorite Son of Former
President Suharto Look Ready to Once Again Take Over The
Reins of His Many Business.
A SPECIAL event was held in April 2002. On that day, PT
Humpuss Intermoda Transportasi, a company owned by Hutomo
Mandala Putra, had been in business for 18 years. Employees
and guests filled the large meeting room on the ninth floor
of the Granadi Building in South Jakartaheadquarters of the
Humpuss Group of businesses. They had gathered for a
thanksgiving, even though the company was in sadness. After
all, their boss, Tommy Suharto, was behind bars, found
guilty of planning the murder of Supreme Court Justice
Syafiuddin Kartasasmita and sentenced to 15 years
Gifts were wrapped for delivery to the correctional
facility. Among them, a painting of Tommy riding a Pegasus
up a steep mountain while carrying the Humpuss flag. The
choice was intentional: a Pegasus symbolizes strength. Tommy
is known for his tendency to take risks.
Humpuss was founded when Tommy was just 22 years of age.
Aided by the ease which comes by being a presidents son,
his network expanded into several lines of business. The
tenacious and strong Tommy grew together with Humpuss. On
Monday of last week, his strength clearly remained evident.
Upon being released from prison, he received a festive
welcome from friends and family. On Friday last week, the
Sentul Circuit racetrack was gaily decorated to welcome back
Tommy, 44. Ceremonial tents were erected, complete with a
small stage. Various types of food were prepared: skewers of
lamb meat, dried soybean cake, fried chicken, and Tommys
Over the main parade stage, stood a massive banner with the
words, Thanksgiving Event for the President Commissioner of
PT Sarana Sirkuitindo UtamaTogether We Return. About 200
guests and reporters attended the party. Luxury cars with
brands like Ferrari, Mercedes Benz and BMW packed the
Tommys status could be seen by the large number of guests
in attendance. Some national racing car drivers, among them
Ananda Mikola, and a host of other important guests, loyally
waited for the Wonder Boy to show up, who, at the end of the
day, did not appear.
Festivities could also be seen on the ninth floor of the
Granadi Building. Last week Friday, Tommy was expected to
preside over a consolidation meeting. A number of reporters
waited patiently, but again, Tommy never showed up.
Rows of visitors had lined up at his residence in Central
Jakarta, since the previous Monday. Flower wreaths decorated
the exterior of the house, much like a wedding reception.
Welcome Bapak Hutomo Mandala Putra, read the
congratulatory greeting from PT Granadhi. Anton Sihombing,
Chairman of the Indonesian Boxing Commission, sent a flower
arrangement reading Welcome, May You Always Be In Good
Tommys businesses appear to have been re-energized at the
return of their leader. Its good news for entities like the
Bali Pecatu Graha (BPG) mega-project run by Tommy in
Jimbaran, Bali, which can now move forward. This company is
currently handling a number of major projects on 410
hectares of land. Luxury homes and a five-star hotel are
planned to be built on the site. An 18-hole golf course has
been laid out on 130 hectares since October.
All the employees are eagerly awaiting a visit from Tommy.
He will certainly go to Bali, but we do not know when,
said Sukandia, the corporate lawyer for Bali Pecatu Graha.
Born in Jakarta on July 15, 1962, the youngest son of former
President Suharto was named Hutomo Mandala Putra. At that
time, President Sukarno had appointed Suharto to lead the
Mandala operation to retake Irian Jaya. I gave the name
Mandala to remember the duty which I carried out, wrote
Suharto in his biography, Suharto, My Thoughts, Words, and
Deeds. He would later be better known as Tommy Suharto.
Tommy is Suhartos only child to end up in prison. He was
hunted down by the police for his involvement in the murder
of Supreme Court Justice Syafiuddin Kartasasmita, an appeals
judge who had sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment in the
Goro Batara Sakti corruption case.
After months on the run, Tommy was finally caught by the
police in South Jakarta in November 2001, following an
intensive manhunt. The prosecutor charged him with four
crimes: involvement in the murder of Supreme Court Justice
Syafiuddin Kartasasmita, two counts of illegal possession of
firearms and explosives, and fleeing when his prison
sentence was about to take effect.
In July 2002, a panel of judges at the Central Jakarta
District Court sentenced Tommy to 15 years imprisonment,
which he did not appeal. A year later, when Tommy was sent
to the Batu Prison in Nusakambangan, his lawyer filed for a
case review (PK).
This process was difficult and convoluted, complicated by
rumors of bribery. The Supreme Court judges who tried the
case underwent three re-organizations. The panel of judges
formed earlier felt it was incapable [of doing its job] due
to the prevalence of rumors inferring they had received
bribes, said Supreme Court Chief Justice, Bagir Manan, who
personally presided over the final trial.
Whenever the trial was in session, security at the Supreme
Court building in Central Jakarta was tightened. The
entrances were heavily guarded by security personnel. All of
the judges, employees, and guests had to be searched before
entering through a side door. The panel finally handed down
a verdict that reduced Tommys sentence from 15 to 10 years
Tommy allegedly received special treatment at Cipinang
Prison. His cell in Blok III H had a private bathroom. He
was also allowed to have a cellular phone in his cell.
Blok III H was a special area. This cell block consists of
three rooms, in the section of the prison located furthest
east. In the past, only political prisoners such as
Soebandrio, the prime minister during the Sukarno era, were
held here. In a Tempo investigation in May 2002, several
sources in Cipinang Prison itemized some of the luxuries in
Tommys cell, such as the ceramic tile floor, a 400-watt
water pump, and an air-conditioning unit recessed into the
He also enjoyed a 29 color television and a laptop
computer. Some inmates reported that they would know Tommy
was in his cell because of the humming sound of the air-
conditioner. About 40 of the inmates strongly protested this
favored treatment. We and Tommy are all inmates. Why should
he get special treatment and we cant? said one of Tommys
fellow inmates at Cipinang to Tempo at that time. One inmate
serving a sentence over a narcotics case even made a protest
banner. They lodged their protest to Ngusman, the Governor
The inmates who protested were later transferred to Cirebon,
Pekalongan, and Ambarawa in Central Java. Other reports say
they were moved because they had tried to extort Tommy.
Quoting one prison guard, one prisoner threatened Tommy by
saying, Pay up your protection money.
Ngusman denied that the reason for transferring the inmates
had to do with Tommy. He said there were 2,491 inmates in
Cipinang, which was built to hold no more than 1,700. The
additional 700 people could have an unhealthy impact on the
health of the prisoners, he said.
One time, Tempo asked Tommy about the special facilities he
received at Cipinang. He replied: What facilities? I dont
get any facilities. Just the usual, he said.
Life behind bars did not prevent Tommy from keeping contact
with the business world. Executives from his companies
frequently visited him at Cipinang. While eating, we would
talk about office matters, said Abdul Wahab, President
Director of Humpuss, to Tempo in May 2002. On these visits,
Tommy said: They are just giving me reports.
When he moved to Batu Prison in Nusakambangan, Tommy was
allocated a private room, the sole occupant of a 5x6-meter
room, which contained a rug, a brown fold-out sofa with a
soft mattress, and a private bathroom. A 21 television set
with a cable hookup completed his new living quarters. He
had a dark-blue L-300 vehicle standing by, for use in the
With regards to this vehicle, Batu Prison Warden Kurbandi
Waluyo said that it belonged to one of Tommys men who often
parked it at the Sodong Pier, the entry point into
Nusakambangan. People are allowed to drive vehicles here
from Sodong, he said. So, what about the room with special
facilities? Kurbandi explained that the special treatment
was ordered by his superiors and actually did not violate
Some said that the real special treatment extended to Tommy
was the number of remissions meted out. He received a total
sentence reduction of 3 years and five days, and now parole.
They were all arranged so that Tommy could get out fast,
said Soimah, widow of the slain Supreme Court judge
Syafiuddin. Tommys parole, in her view, is totally
inappropriate, particularly the many reductions off his
Denny Indrayana, a legal expert from Gadjah Mada University,
said that a 36-month sentence reduction has never been given
for a prison term of five years served of a 10-year
sentence. This is a record. It should be in the Indonesian
Museum of Records, said Denny.
This unusual case took place, he said, because there is no
clear standard on giving out reductions. In a collusive
court system, everything has a price. The measure is how
much the inmate can pay to the authorities, Denny added.
Denny said the family of the late judge Syafiuddin could sue
the Justice & Human Rights Minister, the President, and the
prosecution over Tommys sentence reductions.
The government is being pressured to give a detailed
explanation of the reasons for the huge sentence reductions
given to Tommy. Rudy Satrio, a legal observer from the
University of Indonesia, is urging the Justice & Human
Rights Minister to publicly state the reasons for giving
Tommy Suharto so many term reductions. What sort of good
behavior leads to so many sentence reductions? This is what
must be explained, he said.
Minister Hamid Awaludin himself has denied the rumors that
money was behind the remissions. He claimed granting Tommy a
conditional release and sentence reductions was done
according to existing laws and, applies to anyone.
Moreover, said Hamid, there are detailed regulations
regarding sentence reductions in Presidential Decree No.
Elza Syarief, Tommys lawyer, also played down rumors that
he paid his way out. Her client, said Elza, has served two-
thirds of his sentence. Tommys achievements were taken
into account, such as helping others and becoming a leader
and pioneer. That is a part of good behavior, she said.
Tommy Suharto is currently enjoying his freedom. Those close
to him have come to congratulate him. The closest one of
all, who once lived together with him, Raden Ayu Pramesti
Regita Cahyani, has not made an appearance. His wife, who
had sent the painting of Pegasus to Cipinang Prison, has
nothing to do with Tommy any longer.
Six weeks before Tommys release from prison, they had
separated. Their marriage, which produced two children,
ended last September 18. Tommy Suharto may have lost many
things, but, He has the spirit of a Pegasus. Prison has
made it all the more tough to break him, said one
businessman who knows him well.
This may well be true. On television, Tommy looks to be in
good health. In Sentul, Jakarta, and Bali, people are
gleefully celebrating his returnand he feels no obligation
Wenseslaus Manggut, Wahyu Dyatmika, Yopiandi and Ramidi
Journey of the cendana prince
April 12, 1999 Tommy Suhartos first court hearing on a
land-swap corruption case involving Rp95 billion belonging
to the State Logistics Agency is held in the South Jakarta
August 30, 1999 The prosecution asks that Tommy be sentenced
to two years imprisonment.
October 14, 1999 Tommy is acquitted. The prosecution appeals
to the Supreme Court.
September 22, 2000 The appellate court, led by judge
Syafiuddin Kartasasmita, hands Tommy an 18-month prison
October 3, 2000 Tommy requests a presidential pardon.
November 2, 2000 President Abdurrahman Wahid rejects
Tommys request for pardon.
November 2, 2000 Tommy ignores the summons from the South
Jakarta District Attorneys Office, which wants to send him
to Cipinang Prison. Since that time, Tommy goes into hiding.
July 26, 2001 Judge Syafiuddin Kartasasmita is shot to
death in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. It was proven that the
murder was committed by Maulawarman and Noval Hadad, who
were acting on Tommys orders.
November 29, 2001 Tommy is captured in Bintaro Jaya, Sector
9, Tangerang. The police officially declare Tommy a suspect
in the murder of Syafiuddin Kartasasmita.
February 20, 2002 Tommy is moved from the detention center
at the Jakarta Police Department to Cipinang Prison, East
March 21, 2002 Tommys first hearing on the charges of
complicity in the murder of Syaifuddin Kartasasmita is held
at the Central Jakarta Court.
July 26, 2002 The Central Jakarta District Court sentences
Tommy to 15 years imprisonment. Tommy was found guilty of
possessing illegal firearms, involvement in the premeditated
murder of Syafiuddin Kartasasmita, and of attempting to
August 15, 2002 Tommy serves out his prison term in Batu
August 17, 2002 Tommy receives a one-month sentence
December 6, 2002 On the Idul Fitri holiday, Tommy receives
another one-month sentence reduction.
July 3, 2003 Tommy files for a Case Review (PK) on the
basis of 13 novum (new evidence).
July 25, 2003 The Supreme Court receives the PK filed by
August 17, 2003 Tommy receives another sentence reduction
of five months and 15 days.
October 9, 2003 Suharto visits Tommy in Batu Prison,
November 25, 2003 Tommy receives a one-month, 15-day
sentence reduction on the Idul Fitri holiday.
March 16, 2004 Tommy receives permission to undergo medical
treatment at the Army Central Hospital (RSPAD) in Gatot
Subroto, Central Jakarta.
April 25, 2004 Tommy undergoes a tumor operation on the
left side of his head at Gatot Subroto Hospital, Central
August 17, 2004 Tommy receives another sentence reduction
of seven months and 10 days.
November 14, 2004 Tommy receives another sentence reduction
of two months.
November 25, 2004 Tommy is again allowed to undergo medical
treatment at RSPAD Gatot Subroto, Central Jakarta.
June 6, 2005 In the PK hearing for Tommys case, the Supreme
Court reduces Tommys prison term from 15 years to 10 years.
August 17, 2005 Tommy receives a sentence reduction of 12
months and five days.
March 2, 2006 Tommy is allowed to leave prison for five
days in order to undergo medical treatment at RSPAD Gatot
Subroto, Central Jakarta.
April 4, 2006 Tommy is moved to the Cipinang Narcotics
Prison, East Jakarta, for health reasons.
May 2006 Tommys lawyer, Elza Syarief, files for Tommys
parole to the Directorate General for Correctional
May 7, 2006 Tommy is allowed to visit his father, former
President Suharto, at Pertamina Central Hospital, South
August 17, 2006 Tommy receives a five-month sentence
August 19, 2006 Tommy has officially served out two-thirds
of his 10-year prison term, making him eligible for parole.
October 17, 2006 The Director-General for the Central
Office of Correctional Institutions approves Tommys parole.
A letter of parole is immediately issued.
October 24, 2006 Tommy receives a sentence reduction of one
month and 15 days.
October 30, 2006 Tommy is granted a conditional release.
TEMPO Magazine No. 10/VII/Nov 07 - 13, 2006
Still in Control
Hutomo Mandala Putras businesses continued to operate, even
though he was in prison. His office was moved to
THE Cendana familys joy at the homecoming of Hutomo Mandala
Putra alias Tommy Suharto spread as far as Tanah Abang. In
the textile trading area of Central Jakarta, Tommys name
has been reverberating long before he got confirmation of
his parole, on Monday last week.
While still confined at the Admissions and Orientation cell
at Batu Prison, Nusakambangan, mid-last week, a group of
representatives from traders at Tanah Abang from the Joint
Forum made an approach to him. The first visit was intended
to ask if Tommy was prepared to become an investor in the
renovation of Blocks B, C, D and E at the largest textile
market in Southeast Asia.
At the time, the issue of the renovations was still a
controversial one with a majority of traders in these blocks
refusing. They were also concerned that a fire would break
out as was the case with one that consumed Block A two years
earlier. We are not saying it was deliberate, but the fire
occurred not long after renovation plans had been opposed by
the traders, said a representative of the traders.
One of the main reasons the traders opposed the renovations
was because of the high rental price they would incur for
the kiosks after the renovations. Because of this, said
Refrion, who was appointed as the General Secretary of the
Joint Forum, if the renovations must go ahead, the traders
would like the project to be given to an investor who is
prepared to offer the cheapest price.
It was this request that they put to Tommy, and it appears
to have gotten a response. I was ready, said Tommy when
speaking with Tempo during a visit to Nusakambangan. The
capital was not a problem. A close friend of Tommys hinted
that an initial capital investment of Rp400 billion was
>From this point, Tommys people moved fast and even more
traders were brought in. Residents in the vicinity of the
market and thugs also joined up. All joined the Joint
Secretariat, which was headed by the head of the Market
Traders Cooperative, Ismet Rozak. The momentum is certain to
gather pace after prison bars are no longer a restraint for
Tommy. We are becoming more and more enthusiastic, said
The Tanah Abang Joint Traders Secretariat however had
already signed an agreement with PT Mandala Putra, also
owned by Tommy. Tanah Abang was only fraction of the areas
that were prepared beforehand for Tommy after his release
from prison. This is notwithstanding the fact that the
project is still stuck due to a decision by the Jakarta
regional government that has already appointed PT Putra
Pratma Sukses to carry out work on the renovation of Blocks
B, C, D and E at Tanah Abang.
His long-term business interest remained active even though
he was incarcerated in prison. I was still directing all of
them, said the boss of the Humpuss Group. Indeed bars have
never actually reined back the influence of the fourth child
of former President Suharto in his companies. His businesses
continued to reach into the property sector (such as PT
Pecatu Graha in Bali), the automotive sector, air and cargo
transport, as well as oil tankers under the flag of PT
Humpuss Intermoda Transport.
It has been said that the sea transport companies are
Tommys principal moneymaking machine. Just to give some
idea, in 2006 these companies targeted earnings of Rp1.1
trillion with a net profit of Rp200 billion. Compare this
with the previous year, which only recorded earnings of
Rp800 billion and a net profit of Rp160 billion.
This target was set after the company, whose shares are
listed on the Jakarta Stock Exchange, purchased an
additional 10 new ships this year. This new armada
complemented the 14 tankers and 16 sets of tugboats and
barges that they already owned. And it should be noted here,
that this US$70 million investment was made near the close
of 2005, when Tommy was still in Nusakambangan.
All of this was able to proceed smoothly because
coordination meetings continued almost without hindrance.
Usually, his guests and staff would stay at the Wijaya
Kusuma Hotel in Cilacap when visiting the island prison on
the south side of the city. They were extremely frequent,
even routine, said Istiyo, a hotel staff member working in
So frequent were the meetings, that a house covering around
2,000 square meters of land beside the hotel was purchased
and turned into a transit point for guests and family
members wishing to visit Tommy. On the first Friday of June
last year, Tempo even witnessed a group of businesspeople
led by the former Secretary-General of the Clove Marketing
Board (previously headed by Tommy), Jantje A. Worotitjan,
waiting for their turn to meet with Tommy.
It seems that Tommys position as one the top-ranking
businesspeople in Indonesia did not suffer as a result of
being in jail. Prison did not take anything out of his
hands. Nor did it have an effect on the Humpuss Groups
almost Rp5.9 trillion in non-performing loans borrowed from
government banks in the late 1990s. Everything is still
safely in his hands.
Y. Tomi Aryanto, Ari Aji H. S. (Cilacap)
Joyo Indonesia News Service
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