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Truth or Consequences?

Tommy Suharto Sues Garuda and its In-flight Magazine for Mentioning Past Murder Conviction.

(9/14/2010) The in-flight magazine of Garuda Indonesia is being sued by Hutomo Mandala Putra (Tommy Suharto), the businessman son of Indonesia's late-president Soeharto.

Quoted in NusaBali following the commencement of a court proceeding in the case against Garuda, Suharto attorney, Ferry Firman Nurwahya, said: "there is an article in the magazine in which there is no correlation between the article's title and its content. It was published in December 2009."

The monthly in-flight magazine contained an article on the new resort area in Bali at the Pecatu Resort near Dreamland beach. "A New Destination to Enjoy in Bali" stated that the development was owned by Tommy Suharto. Within the body of the article the magazine stated that the owner of the development was a convicted murderer.

Soeharto was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2002 for concealing firearms and explosives, conspiring with others to commit a homicide and obstructing a public official from performing his official duties.

The homicide conviction was in connection with the death of a judge, Agung Syafiuddin Kartasasmita.

In 2005, on appeal to the Supreme Court Soeharto's sentence was reduced to 10 years. With sentence remissions of 31 months, Soeharto walked free from prison in 2008.

Soeharto is suing Pujobroto, Vice President of Corporate Communications, and Prasetyo Budi, Senior Marketing Communications and Promotion, at PT Garuda Indonesia. PT Indo Multi Media, the publishers of the magazine, and two of the magazine's employees are also included in the civil complaint.

Soeharto is demanding a open, published apology in a major newsweekly and two national daily newspapers.

Garuda did not attend the initial court proceeding, claiming they had not received the required summons to appear.