Subject: [cwj 82] Marubeni unit tied to Suharto embezzlement case
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 11:53:49 -0700
Seq: 82

August 23, 2000

Marubeni unit tied to Suharto embezzlement case 

JAKARTA (Kyodo) A subsidiary of Marubeni Corp. donated at
least $330,000 to a charity foundation from which former
Indonesian President Suharto allegedly embezzled millions,
according to prosecution dossiers submitted to an Indonesian

Among the 3,500 pages submitted to the South Jakarta District
Court earlier this month are the names of 43 individuals,
conglomerates, and state and private companies who together had
donated about 215 billion rupiah ($26 million at current rates) by
July 1999 to "Yayasan Supersemar," established by the 79-year-old
former Indonesian leader in 1974.

Marubeni International Petroleum Co.'s (MIPCO) donation of
623.75 million rupiah was the 15th-largest contribution to the

According to Yoshio Fujimoto, a corporate vice president and
managing director of Marubeni Corp., MIPCO was established in
Hong Kong in January 1979 to deal with international petroleum

"Although we checked records, we could not confirm if MIPCO
donated money to the foundation or not because MIPCO was
dismantled in March 1990," said Fujimoto, who deals with
Indonesia for the trading house.

However, testimony by foundation treasurer Sabrono Slamet, who
was questioned by a prosecutor on June 20, suggests that MIPCO
contributed to the foundation.

Sabrono could not be reached for comment.

During the period MIPCO was operating, the rupiah was four to
13 times more valuable than its current worth, around 8,250 per
U.S. dollar, making the MIPCO donation worth between $330,000
and $1 million at the time.

Prosecution dossiers include testimony from 134 witnesses
questioned by the Attorney General's Office after Attorney General
Maruzuki Darusman reopened the corruption case against Suharto
in October.

In his testimony, Sabrono told a prosecutor that the biggest
contributor to Yayasan Supersemar was the Nusamba Group
conglomerate headed by timber tycoon Mohamad "Bob" Hasan,
who was a prominent member of Suharto's entourage. It made
donations of more than 7 billion rupiah.

Prosecutors indicted Suharto on Aug. 8, charging him with
embezzling $571 million in state money through seven charity
foundations, including Yayasan Supersemar, that he had
established during his presidency.

According to the dossiers, the former strongman used money
collected by the foundations to invest in companies run by his
children and his cronies and then reaped huge profits from the

Suharto could face a maximum penalty of life in prison if he is
convicted of illegally using public money.

His lawyers have insisted Suharto is too ill to stand trial and that
even if he were able to appear before the judges, his testimony
would be unclear because of poor memory caused by strokes.

Suharto was above the law during his 32 years in power, making
the latest move by the government a milestone to show that the
law is now supreme in Indonesia.

President Abdurrahman Wahid has said the former dictator could
be pardoned by presidential decree if he returns the embezzled
money to the state, even if he is found guilty by the court.

The Japan Times: Aug. 23, 2000

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