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500 men in black descend on MNC TV station

Jakarta Globe - July 27, 2011

Five hundred men gathered at a television station at the center of a dispute between a daughter of former dictator Suharto and media mogul Hary Tanoesoedibjo on Wednesday morning but eventually agreed to leave peacefully.

Wijaya Kusuma, a spokesman for MNC TV, formerly known as Televisi Pendidikan Indonesia (TPI), told the Jakarta Globe that the men, all wearing black, claimed to have been sent by a "director" of the station based in East Jakarta.

He said the men alleged the director had ordered them to go to the station to perform a traditional dance.

There is speculation the man is politician and lawyer Yapto Soerjosumarno. Yapto, a long-time friend of the Suharto family, is the head of the Pemuda Pancasila youth organization.

In April, a court ordered Media Nusantara Citra to return its 75 percent stake in MNC TV to previous owner Siti "Tutut" Hardiyanti Rukmana. She was also awarded Rp 680 billion ($78 million) in damages.

MNC is appealing. Tutut has named Yapto as chairman of the board of directors of TPI.

Wijaya said the men eventually agreed to leave the station due to the "miscommunication," adding the situation was under control.