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Subject: AFP: Prabowo denies taking up Jordanian citizenship
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 15:31:09 +0000
From: Tapol

Received from Joyo

[Posters note: By accepting the hospitality of a country friendly to him, it is clear that Prabowo - despite the denials concerning his citizenship - is preparing the grounds to flee from justice both in Indonesia and internationally]

Suharto son-in-law denies taking up Jordanian citizenship

JAKARTA, Dec 23 (AFP) - A son-in-law of former president Suharto, who could face court martial over the abduction of political activists, has denied taking up Jordanian citizenship, press reports said Wednesday.

"I was indeed offered Jordanian citizenship, but I answered that though I was deeply grateful, I had to refuse the offer as Indonesia does not allow dual- citizenship," Prabowo Subianto said in a written statement carried by newspapers here.

Prabowo, a retired lieutenant general, admitted having a "very close" relationship with Jordan's King Hussein and his family, and said he was a frequent visitor to Amman while pursuing a new career in business.

Reports from Jordan last week that its citizenship was conferred on Prabowo by a Royal decree caused an uproar here.

Prabowo and two other senior officers of the Kopassus elite military command were sanctioned in August after a military council found them guilty of involvement in the abduction and torture of political activists earlier in the year.

Prabowo, 47, a former Kopassus chief, was given early retirement while the two others were barred from holding operational positions within the armed forces.

The military trial of 11 Kopassus soldiers, including seven non-commissioned officers, on charges of kidnapping and torture of the activists opened here Wednesday.

Armed Forces Chief General Wiranto, announcing the sanctions on the three Kopassus senior officers in August, did not rule out the possibility of the trio being dragged to military court themselves should more evidence surface during the trial of the 11 soldiers.

Justice Minister Muladi on Tuesday warned Prabowo against accepting Jordanian citizenship, saying that there could be drastic consequences if he did.

"We do not recognize dual citizenship ... Once someone accepts another citizenship, he loses his Indonesian citizenship," Muladi (Eds: one name) said at the state Palace.

"So he (Prabowo) has to take a decision, remain an Indonesian citizen or move out.

"But his case here is not yet settled ... so if the report is true, we can immediately ban him from leaving the country," Muladi said.

The foreign ministry and the armed forces' intelligence agency have both said they would double-check the report with the Indonesian embassy in Jordan and with the Jordanian government.

Meanwhile Prabowo's younger brother, businessman Hashim Djojohadikusumo, confirmed Tuesday that Jordanian citizenship had been granted to Prabowo, but said his brother would not relinquish his Indonesian citizenship, the Jakarta Post reported.

Hashim added that Prabowo is currently in Amman representing Hashim's business interests in the Middle East -- supplying tea to Amman and buying cotton from Sudan.

Hashim said Prabowo was a longtime friend of King Hussein's son, Prince Abdullah, who was chief of the Jordanian Army's Special Forces.

Prabowo had also been granted a medal of honor by the Jordanian government for bilateral military cooperation between Indonesia and Jordan, Hashim said.

TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 1420 80153 Email: Defending victims of oppression in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh, 1973-1998

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