Indonesia police question Trump partner over threat claims

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 July, 2017, 12:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 July, 2017, 10:10pm

Police are questioning the Indonesian business partner of President Donald Trump over allegations he sent threatening text messages to a deputy attorney general.

A smiling Hary Tanoesoedibjo arrived at the national police’s Criminal Investigation Agency in central Jakarta on Friday morning after failing to comply with a summons for questioning last week.

The 51-year-old billionaire, better known as Tanoe, is barred from leaving Indonesia from June 22 to July 12, which could be extended at police request.

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“Today is actually the second time we have summoned Hary Tanoesoedibjo. We have summoned him before but at that time his lawyer said he couldn’t show up,” national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said.

Tanoe is accused of sending threats by SMS early last year to Yulianto, a deputy attorney general for special crime who investigated a 2009 graft case related to Mobile-8 Telecom, a telecommunications company that Tanoe once owned.

Under Indonesian law, using technology to threaten people is punishable by up to four years in prison.

Tanoe’s lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea has called the case politically motivated and denied Taneo committed any offence.

“As humans we know what would be considered as threats and what not. What he said is something all politicians do,” Hutapea said.

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Tanoesoedibyo’s company is in the process of building two luxury resorts in Indonesia which would be managed by Trump Hotels.

The resorts are planned to be built on the popular tourist island of Bali and in Lido, West Java, just a couple of hours away from capital Jakarta. Construction on the hotels has not yet begun.

The billionaire, who was a guest at Trump’s inauguration, harbours political ambitions of his own and has said he might run for president in Indonesia’s 2019 election.

His conglomerate MNC, which has media, property and other businesses, is developing two luxury resorts in Indonesia that will be operated by the Trump Organisation.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse