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Tommy Suharto Interrogation Begins - 2001-11-29

Indonesian police have begun questioning Tommy Suharto, the youngest son of Indonesia's former president Suharto. He was arrested Wednesday after spending a year as a fugitive.

Authorities say they have been interrogating Tommy Suharto on suspicion that he ordered the murder of a top judge. Police say he may be held in custody for 20 days. Tommy Suharto was arrested Wednesday after spending a year in hiding. He disappeared shortly after he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for a land scam that cost the government some $11 million. The Indonesian Supreme Court overturned the conviction last month, but Mr. Suharto still refused to come out of hiding.

The inability to track down Mr. Suharto caused significant embarrassment to Indonesian authorities. Some political analysts believed corrupt elements within the police or military may have been sheltering him.

Police say Mr. Suharto may be involved in the assassination in July of the Supreme Court judge that sentenced him to prison. They also suspect he was behind several unexplained bombings in the Indonesian capital in recent months.

Mr. Suharto says he did nothing wrong.

The 39-year-old youngest son of former President Suharto is the first member of the family to be convicted for graft. The Suharto family has been accused of amassing billions of dollars in illegal wealth during former president's more than 30 years in office.