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Indonesia Fires Attorney General

June 15, 1998

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ President B.J. Habibie fired Indonesia’s attorney general on Monday, putting a new man in charge of the probe into alleged corruption during former President Suharto’s 32-year regime.

Habibie replaced Soedjono Atmonegoro, an old Suharto appointee, with Maj. Gen. Andi Muhammad Galib, the head of the military’s law office. The government offered no reason for the change.

However, Soedjono’s departure comes amid growing demands that Suharto himself be investigated for alleged wrongdoing.

Earlier this month, Soedjono announced that he had launched a broad inquiry into state corruption, but he made it clear that investigators were not directly targeting Suharto and his family.

Critics claim the Suharto family abused its position to amass billions of dollars and build business empires.

Over the weekend, a legal adviser to Suharto said the former president denies any wrongdoing and that accusations that he had made a fortune were not true.

Habibie, Suharto’s longtime friend and his former vice president, has indicated that he won’t intercede to help the ex-autocrat fend off lawfully made allegations.

Since Suharto quit last month, student protesters and democracy activists have gathered outside the attorney general’s office daily, demanding a full investigation.

On Monday, hundreds of East Timorese students demonstrated in the territory’s capital of Dili to press for a vote on independence from Indonesian control. l

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