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Suharto linked to forestry concessions

Dow Jones Newswires - November 30, 1998

Jakarta – The Indonesian government had found nine million hectares of forest concessions linked to former president Suharto, his family and close associates, a report said Tuesday.

"We found strong indications that those properties were acquired by the Suharto family and their cronies through (corruption, collusion and nepotism)," said Forestry and Plantations Minister Muslimin Nasution, as quoted by the Jakarta Post daily.

Muslimin said the concessions were controlled by the family of Suharto through shares held in various companies, including PT Barito Pacific Timber (P.BPT), controlled by Prajogo Pangestu, and Mohamad "Bob" Hasan's Kalimanis Group.

Barito Pacific holds the rights to 3.5 million hectares of forest in seven provinces, while Hasan's Kalimanis Group has the rights to 1.63 million hectares, according to the daily.

The minister said his office will continue to investigate forestry concessions linked to Suharto to see if there has been any transfer of shares, the report said.

The government is currently investigating the former president's wealth amid mounting calls for him to stand trial for corruption allegations.

Suharto has denied any wrongdoing and has stated that he will cooperate with any investigation into his affairs. He has also denied that he has squirreled away a fortune in foreign banks.