Subject: JP: No need to summon Gen. Tyasno on Counterfeiting

also: Army chief denies role in counterfeiting ring

The Jakarta Post July 19, 2000

No need to summon Gen. Tyasno: Prosecutor

JAKARTA (JP): Prosecutor Soejitno rejected on Tuesday a proposal to summon Army chief Gen. Tyasno Sudarto to testify as a witness in a Rp 19.2 billion (US$2.1 million) counterfeit money case at the Central Jakarta District Court.

"We have evidence, such as the printing press and over Rp 1 billion in fake money. We also have 10 suspects. What more does one need?" Soejitno told reporters at the district court following a hearing of the case, which is being presided over by judge Rasadi Salmun.

"But if we run short of evidence or the court begins to doubt the testimonies of witnesses or suspects, I might call Pak Tyasno (to testify as a witness). Anything is possible."

Last Tuesday, a defendant in the case, Ismail Putra, alleged in a hearing that the money was produced with the full knowledge of Tyasno, who was chief of the Indonesian Military Intelligence Body (BIA) from January 1999 through Nov. 20, 1999.

"Pak Darto knew very well that the fake money was produced in the interests of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and (to settle) problems in East Timor," Ismail, a retired Army major, told the hearing, then presided over by judge Purwanto.

"He sanctioned the process. The (former) BIA chief also visited (defendant) Yustinus Kasminto's house in Palmerah, West Jakarta, where the printing was done."

Prosecutors say the production of Rp 19.2 billion of fake notes occurred between last July and this February.

Prosecutor Soejitno named the defendants along with their roles as Yustinus Kasminto; bookkeeper Junie; A Khui, alias Ardy Sukarman; group leader Ismail Putra; security coordinator Eddy Kereh; technician in charge of printing Ramelan; Bambang; machine operators Triyono and Slamet and housemaid Tono.

The suspects were arrested at printing company Jaya Abadi Prima on Jl. Palmerah Barat No. 141, West Jakarta, between February and March this year. On Tuesday, Iwan, a cousin of defendant Junie who is representing her in court, told The Jakarta Post that Junie had been terrorized by the other defendants into working for them.

"She was terrorized and told that terrible things would happen to her and her family if she opened her mouth. Initially, she knew nothing of the case," Iwan said.

"When she did learn of the fake money business, she could not even go to the toilet without being followed by Tono (defendant). She was already trapped, and was terrorized and forced to continue working for the other defendants."

Soejitno said in the previous hearing that the forged Rp 50,000 banknotes made by the defendants were copies of the 1995 edition that carried the likeness of former president Soeharto.

The defendants, he said, destroyed Rp 15.8 billion of the fake rupiah after they learned it was of poor quality.

The remaining Rp 3.4 billion was found with two men, he said.

"The first Rp 1.6 billion was found in the possession of defendant A Khui, currently receiving medical treatment for kidney failure at Mediros Hospital in Pulogadung, East Jakarta. The other Rp 1.8 billion was with a man, identified as Tyasno Sudarto, who is still at large," Soejitno said.

The group, he said, printed the bogus money with six serial number prefixes, namely FRM, LZN, LZO, RPM, TWR and YBD.

Separately in Medan, Gen. Tyasno Sudarto firmly denied all allegations of his involvement in the case.

"I'm sure that whatever was said was all lies," Tyasno told reporters at the installation ceremony of Maj. Gen. I Gede Purnawa as the new Bukit Barisan Regional Military commander, overseeing Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra and Riau. Purnawa replaced Maj. Gen. Affandi.

Tyasno said it was a conspiracy to discredit him and the TNI as an institution.

"Such things have become so frequent now in our society and it is a sign of a demoralized society. Let us all take this maturely and not get caught up in nasty rumors and issues," he said as quoted by Antara. (ylt)


Indonesian Observer July 19, 2000

Army chief denies role in counterfeiting ring

JAKARTA (IO) - Army Chief General Tyasno Sudarto has brushed aside rumors that he is involved in a counterfeiting ring, describing the allegations as despicable defamation.

"That is slander," Sudarto was quoted as saying by Antara in Medan, North Sumatra, after installing the new chief of the Bukit Barisan Regional Military Command.

He claimed the rumors could be regarded as an effort to embarrass the military.

A defendant in a counterfeit money trial, involving Rp19.2 billion (US$2.1 million), has told the Central Jakarta District Court the cash was printed with the full knowledge of Sudarto, who once headed the Indonesian Military Intelligence Body (BIA).

"Sudarto knew very well that this fake money production was for the interests of the Indonesian Defense Forces [TNI] and to settle problems in East Timor," defendant, Ismail Putra, a retired Army major, told the court. Sudarto was made Army chief in November last year. He served as chief of the Central Java Military Command from April 1998 to January 1999, and as BIA chief from January 1999 to November 1999.

The Rp19.2 billion in counterfeit money was produced between July last year and February this year.

Sudarto said someone may be trying to frame him. "I am innocent in that case. I have done no wrong, so clarification must be made soon because the information is a form of defamation," he told reporters.

"I see a conspiracy behind this incident to tarnish the credibility of the Army and to put me in the corner. It is possible that a certain person has dealt with counterfeit rupiah notes and says his name is General Tyasno Sudarto," he said.

There have been allegations that certain military personnel were also involved in efforts to print and distribute counterfeit American dollars.


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