Hon Phil Goff,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
28 January, 2002.
Dear Phil Goff,
We note that the Lillybank Station property linked to Tommy Suharto is once again being advertised for sale.
This time it is being marketed on the Internet, and is on offer for $7.2m plus GST, down from an earlier asking price of $9m.
As you know we continue to be concerned about the validity of the transaction in 1999 when Tommy Suharto sold the property and shares in a trading company to his business colleague Alan Poh for only one dollar.
In the light of this latest development we would like to ask if there have been any further government inquiries into the possibility that Tommy Suharto still retains a financial interest in the property. We would also like to know if there have been any further discussions held with Indonesian representatives or with the Indonesian Attorney General about the New Zealand assets of the Suharto family and its cronies.
You will be aware that Tommy Suharto is no longer a fugitive from justice and that he is being questioned as a suspect in the July 2001 murder of the judge who sent him to prison. There has been a controversial appeal court decision to overturn Tommy Suharto's conviction in a $US 11 million fraud case.
The overturning of Tommy Suharto's fraud conviction has been interpreted as sign that the legal system is not independent and that the former dictator and his family still exercise considerable behind the scenes clout.
In these circumstances a renewed New Zealand offer to invesigate the extent and nature of Suharto assets in this country would be a move in support of justice and democratic rights in Indonesia.
Maire Leadbeater (for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee)
Copies to Keith Locke, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Green Party Matt Robson, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs