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Supreme court returns TPI ownership to Suharto daughter

Jakarta Globe - October 10, 2013

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it has ruled in favor of Siti Hardiyanti Rukamana in a dispute surrounding the majority of ownership of MNC TV and returned shares of the TV station to the eldest daughter of former president Suharto.

Court spokesman Ridwan Mansyur said the verdict was handed down on Oct. 2 by a panel of justices comprising Soltoni Mohdally, Takdir Rahmadi and I Made Tara.

"[The Supreme Court] grants the appeal filed by the plaintiff... and declares that the defendants have acted against the law," Ridwan told Indonesian news portal vivanews.com.

The verdict annulled a ruling made by the Jakarta High Court and upheld the one handed down by the Central Jakarta District Court on April 14, 2011.

The dispute dates back to an extraordinary shareholders meeting of the free-to-air TV station, then going by the name TPI, on March 18, 2005.

During the meeting, Berkah Karya Bersama, a company owned by Indonesian media mogul Hary Tanoesoedibjo, now CEO of MNC Group, took over 75 percent of shares in TPI that originally belonged to Tutut using a power of attorney said to represent shareholders.

The Central Jakarta District Court in its 2011 verdict said the shareholders meeting was illegitimate and that the power of attorney was invalid.

Berkah appealed to the high court, with Hary claiming 75 percent ownership after Tutut handed over the stake to Berkah in exchange for the settlement of her debt to the company, which amounted to around Rp 1 trillion ($86.5 million).