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Suharto Wins $100 Million Libel Case Against Time Magazine


Former Indonesian President Suharto has won a $106-million libel law suit against U.S.-based Time Magazine.

Indonesia's Supreme Court ruling, which also calls for a printed apology, overturns two lower-court decisions in the news magazine's favor.

A court spokesman said Monday the panel of judges ruled on August 31 that the Time article damaged the reputation and honor of a former president and retired army general.

The libel suit stems from a May 1999 Time Magazine cover story alleging General Suharto and his family had amassed an illicit fortune of hundreds of billions of dollars during his 32 years in power.

Time Magazine officials could not be reached for comment.

General Suharto was forced to step down from power in 1998 over allegations of corruption. He denies any wrongdoing.

Time's only recourse in the case under Indonesian law is to file a request for a judicial review of the case, which would require the magazine's attorneys to submit new evidence.

General Suharto seized power in a bloody 1965 coup. He has been accused of stealing billions of dollars in state funds, and responsibility for numerous human rights abuses.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.