Imprisoned Son of Former Indonesian Dictator Gets Parole

The youngest son of Indonesia's former dictator Suharto was set to be released from prison Monday after serving five years for orchestrating the murder of a Supreme Court judge, a prison official said.

Hutomo "Tommy" Mandalaputra was one of thousands of inmates to receive sentence reductions for good behavior last week as part of Indonesian celebrations marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

That paved the way for his release on parole Monday, said Wibowo Joko Harjono, a senior official at the Cipinang Prison in eastern Jakarta.

Tommy was originally sentenced to 15 years in prison in July 2002 for hiring two hit men to murder Syafiuddin Kartasasmita, who had earlier convicted him in a real estate scam, but it was reduced to 10 years on appeal.

With the benefit of at least five prison remissions, some up to a year, he has now served two-thirds of his sentence and under Indonesian law is eligible for parole, Harjono said.

Tommy's father, Suharto, ruled Indonesia with an iron fist until he was ousted from power in 1998 and was indicted in 2000 on charges of embezzling US$600 million in state funds. But legal proceedings against him were abandoned because of his poor health.