INDONESIA: 'Tempo' lawyers allege perjury by Tomy

Lawyers for Tempo magazine journalists requested on Monday that the Central Jakarta District Court order the prosecutor to indict tycoon Tomy Winata for perjury in the criminal prosecution being brought following a complaint filed by Tomy against Tempo

The Jakarta Post
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Lawyers for Tempo magazine journalists requested on Monday that the Central Jakarta District Court order the prosecutor to indict tycoon Tomy Winata for perjury in the criminal prosecution being brought following a complaint filed by Tomy against Tempo.

Trimoelja D. Soerjadi made the request after hearing the testimony of telecommunications expert Roy Suryo, which further strengthened Tempo's contention that it had sought confirmation from Tomy before publishing its article titled Is Tomy in Tenabang? in the March 3 to March 9, 2003, edition of the magazine.

"Tomy has lied. He has committed perjury," he said, as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

Presiding judge Suripto refused the request and suggested that the defendants file a complaint with the police.

Tempo journalist Bernarda Rurit had previously testified that she had recorded her interview with Tomy for the article, which insinuated Tomy had orchestrated the Tanah Abang fire last February in the hope of securing a major urban renewal project.

Her testimony was further confirmed by a printout obtained from state-owned phone company Telkom, showing that there had indeed been a phone call on Feb. 27, 2003, from Tempo to Tomy's cellular phone.

However, Tomy told the court on Oct. 27, 2003, that the voice on the recording only sounded like his, but was in fact not his.

On Monday, Roy told the court that he had conducted tests using a spectrum analyzer to compare recordings of Tomy's voice taken while he was testifying in court, speaking during a hearing with the House of Representatives and the voice on the Tempo tape.

"The voices are identical, in terms of their frequency, amplitude, resonance, beat and depth," he said.

Tempo magazine's chief editor Bambang Harymurti, journalists T. Iskandar Ali and Ahmad Taufik are being prosecuted under the Criminal Code for defaming Tomy through the article. They could face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison if found guilty.