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Suharto’s Son Said Ready to Surrender

October 2, 2001

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ A day after the Supreme Court overturned his conviction and an 18-month prison term for graft, lawyers for Hutomo ``Tommy″ Mandala Putra said Tuesday the fugitive son of ex-dictator Suharto was ready to give himself up.

Tommy, 39, has been on the run since the same court, Indonesia’s highest judicial body, sentenced him last year.

During that time, he was also accused of several bombings and of masterminding the July assassination of a judge who found him guilty.

``He is ready to leave his hiding place,″ lawyer Elza Syarief said. ``In my estimation, it will be before the end of October.″

Syarief said Tommy was eager to prove he was not involved in the judge’s murder or the bomb blasts.

One of the three Supreme Court Justices who heard Monday’s appeal denied he had taken bribes from members of the Suharto clan. Anti-graft activists, politicians and government officials have criticized the three-member panel’s decision.

``If you can prove I accepted a bribe, report me to the attorney general,″ Supreme Court Deputy Chairman Muhamad Taufik told reporters.

Tommy was sentenced last September for his part in a 1995 multimillion-dollar real estate scam that involved one of his companies and the state’s main food distribution agency.

However, he was not immediately jailed, and vanished in November after an arrest warrant was issued.

Tommy had been the only member of the Suharto family found guilty of corruption, although several of his siblings have also been investigated.

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