Indonesian ex-dictator Suharto's half brother goes to prison

Indonesia's Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling and sentenced the half brother of ex-dictator Suharto to four years in jail in a multimillion-dollar (-euro) corruption scandal, a court official said Tuesday. Probosutedjo, found guilty Monday of enriching himself or others, was also ordered to pay the state more than US$11 million (Ђ9 million), said Ridwan Mansyur, a Jakarta court spokesman.

It was not clear when Probosutedjo would be sent to prison, said Mashudi Ridwan, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, as Probosutedjo's lawyers announced that they would seek a judicial review. Probosutedjo, 74, cost the government more than US$10 million (Ђ8.4 million) in losses through the abuse of reforestation funds in 1994-97.

The Central Jakarta District Court sentenced him to four years in prison in 2003, but a higher court reduced the sentence to two. Monday's verdict came amid an investigation by the country's powerful anti-corruption agency into alleged bribery of a panel of Supreme Court judges hearing the case.

The investigation has already led to the arrest Probosutedjo's lawyer Harini Wiyoso, as well as five court officials, for allegedly receiving bribes.

Probosutedjo has told the Corruption Eradication Commission that he gave 5 billion rupiah (US$500,000; Ђ418,000) to Supreme Court Judge Bagir Manan, and 1 billion rupiah (US$100,000; Ђ84,000) to other court officials through his lawyer. His trial on graft charges was shelved on the grounds of poor health. Suharto and Probosutedjo, like many other Indonesians, use single names, reports the AP. N.U.

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