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Foreign Affairs take narrow view of Suharto assets

Indonesia Human Rights Committee,

Box 68-419,

Auckland

May 7, 2000

MEDIA RELEASE: Minister of Foreign Affairs takes narrow view of Suharto assets.

Foreign Minister Phil Goff has sent off a list of known Suharto family assets in New Zealand to assist the Indonesian Government inquiry. (Wellington May 5 AFP ) These include properties purchased by Suharto's daughter Titiek and son Tommy - Queenstown chalets and the Lilybank resort near Tekapo. It is great that he is offering to help with the Indonesian government's probe into the corruption case against Suharto. However, he is overlooking the extensive corporate links between New Zealand businesses and Suharto crony companies.

"The Indonesia Human Rights Committee is calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to go the whole way and conduct a full parliamentary enquiry into the Suharto linked business interests in New Zealand," said Maire Leadbeater speaking for the Committee. "This would ensure that all the evidence is publicly scrutinised."

"During his 33 year reign, the former dictator Suharto used his position and the instruments of government to gain control of a vast business and banking empire. If we are serious about helping the Indonesian people to regain their lost resources and wealth then we have to look further than the few pieces of scenic real estate in the South Island ."

"For example, Brierley Investments has close Suharto connections. One of Suharto's oldest and closest cronies- Liem Sioe Liong - is now one of Indonesia's richest men by virtue of the privileged access he has had to the former dictator and to key infrastructure companies. Liem Sioe Liong's company, the Salim Group is a major owner of Camerlin which now largely controls Brierley Investments. What is more, Tommy Suharto has a joint venture with BIL subsidiary Asia-Power, and he is listed in Brierley's 1998 Annual Report as a director of Mandala Nusantara, a subsidiary of Brierley Investments."

"There are also strong links between the Salim group and the ownership of New Zealand hotels, forests and a pulpmill. "

" We owe it to ourselves and to the Indonesian people to get to the bottom of a chain of business ownership that leads back to a ruthless dictator and his mates."

For further information : Maire Leadbeater - 09-376-9098 or 025-436-957


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