Search

 

Cablegate: Time Magazine Enters Final Stage of Indonesian Legal

VZCZCXRO7009
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #0377 0570651
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 260651Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8102
INFO RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1563
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4747
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2051
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4422
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 000377

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MTS, EEB/IFD/OIA, INL BOULDIN
L/LEI FOR BUCHHOLZ
DOJ FOR CRIM AAG SWARTZ
DOJ/OIA FOR WARNER/ROBINSON
DOJ/OPDAT FOR ALEXANDRE/LEHMANN/JOHNSON
DOJ/AFMLS FOR SAMUEL
MCC FOR AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH AND MORFORD
DEPT PASS USTR FOR AMBASSADOR SCHWAB
TREASURY FOR IA - BAUKOL
USAID FOR ANE/AA WARD

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCOR ECON KJUS ID
SUBJECT: TIME MAGAZINE ENTERS FINAL STAGE OF INDONESIAN LEGAL
BATTLE

REF: A) 07 Jakarta 2525 (TIME Supreme Court decision);
B) 07 Jakarta 2969 (TIME judicial review details)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: TIME magazine formally appealed on February 21 the
$111 million Supreme Court decision in the Suharto defamation case.
This appeal challenges the August 2007 Supreme Court decision on
procedural grounds, particularly the Supreme Court's use of civil
law instead of press law. With Suharto's death, the civil case
continues. Odds of a Supreme Court appeal in favor of TIME remain
strong, possibly increased due to public antipathy for the Suharto
family. End summary.

TIME formally appeals to Supreme Court
--------------------------------------

2. (SBU) On February 21, TIME magazine filed for Supreme Court
judicial review - its final legal option - in the Suharto defamation
case (see reftels). A senior panel of Supreme Court judges will now
review this appeal, as opposed to the more junior panel that made
the August 2007 decision. TIME submitted a 103 page memorandum to
the Supreme Court that documented its grounds for appeal. The
review centers on demonstrating procedural "manifest error" in the
original August 2007 Supreme Court decision. TIME contends that the
civil law protects journalists writing stories deemed to be in the
public interest. However, TIME also argues that civil law was
applied when press law was more appropriate. TIME has presented new
evidence as well to the Supreme Court to support its original
reporting on Suharto's ill-gotten gains, according to our sources.
This case could continue to drag on for months, if not years, as
there is no requirement for the Supreme Court to review the case
within a designated timeframe.

3. (SBU) TIME magazine is waging a public relations campaign that
frames this case as an assault on press freedom and democratic
institutions in Indonesia. Todung Mulya Lubis, head of the TIME
defense team and a prominent legal reform advocate, described the
TIME-Suharto case as a test case for the overall reform movement in
Indonesia. Beyond press freedom, the TIME case is an investment
climate issue, raising serious doubts about rule of law in
Indonesia. Business leaders have said that the TIME case
contributes to perceptions of legal uncertainty for foreign
investors in Indonesia.

Ruling in Favor of TIME Remains Strong
--------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Suharto's death slightly increases the likelihood of a
favorable decision for TIME, according to our sources. In this
civil case, the plaintiff's responsibilities are procedurally
transferred from Suharto to his heirs. However, Suharto's death
does affect the political and public debates surrounding the case.
There is considerably less public support for the Suharto family
compared to Suharto himself. Due to the high-level nature of the
case and TIME's public relations strategy, "the court of public
opinion" and pressure from senior Indonesian political figures could
shape the outcome.

HUME

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC