Subject: JP: More on counterfeit cash for ET case

THE JAKARTA POST August 16, 2000

Defendant insists Tyasno's role

JAKARTA (JP): A defendant in a Rp 19.2 billion counterfeit money case told a Tuesday hearing that he received an offer from the former chief of military intelligence, Tyasno Sudarto, now a four star general and Army Chief of Staff, to provide paper to produce counterfeit banknotes, but claimed he had never met the general before.

The former soldier, Ismail Putra, told the Central Jakarta district court that he was offered a share from the production.

"I was told by the general that the production of the counterfeit money was in the national interest, and that it was my duty to assist as a member of the military," Ismail said at the hearing presided over by judge Poerwanto.

At the previous hearing last month, Ismail had said that Gen. Tyasno "knew very well" that the fake money was produced "in the interests of the Indonesian Military and in order to settle the problems in East Timor. "

Ismail claimed that one day in July last year he was invited to meet a military general at a hotel on Jl. Pramuka, East Jakarta, to talk about "an important matter."

"The general introduced himself as Tyasno Sudarto, who claimed to have my military service records. He later explained to me about the tense situation in East Timor, which needed more funds for weapons," Ismail said.

Ismail, who was arrested with nine others at a printing company in Palmerah, West Jakarta, in February, had earlier said that Tyasno had claimed that the central bank permitted the military to clandestinely print the money as it was not allowed by the International Monetary Fund to openly do so.

Ismail said on Tuesday that the general told him the production of the fake money would be fully answered for, and that he would request the relevant documents, including serial numbers, from the central bank once Ismail could provide him with the necessary reams of paper.

Tyasno, Ismail said, warned him that the printed money should not be distributed, and that Ismail was to wait for further instructions.

So far, booth the courts and the police have yet to question Tyasno in connection with his possible role in the crime.

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