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Police enter secret bunker, but fail to find Tommy JAKARTA - After two days of continuous drilling, police officers on Tuesday eventually broke into an air-conditioned underground bunker below the Central Jakarta home of the fugitive Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra. Secretary to the city police detectives chief, Adj. Snr. Comr. Abdullah, said police spent all of Tuesday afternoon making an inventory of what was found in the four meter by four meter room.
"No Tommy (in there). We did find a complete kitchen set, an exhaust fan, brand new air-conditioner, racks and shelves, tool kits and electric lights," Abdullah told reporters on Tuesday. Chief of the city police detectives Snr. Comr. Harry Montolalu said police were unable to find the switches to turn the electric lights on. "We are checking whether the room is interconnected with others," Harry told reporters.
There have been several reports of interconnecting bunkers below the adjoining residences of the former first family, located in Jakarta's plush Menteng area. Harry said the bunker appeared to have a hydraulic door and that the police were unable to find the switch which operated it. After conducting raids in over 100 places nationwide last week, including the Surakarta residence of former Minister of Defense and Security, Gen. (ret) Wiranto, police suspected that Tommy, a 38-year-old billionaire businessman, could be hiding in the bunker.
The opening of the bunker was witnessed by Tommy's sister, Siti Hutami "Mamiek" Endang Adiningsih, and the Soeharto family lawyer, Juan Felix Tampubolon, stuck to his earlier statements that the bunker was nothing but a stuffy cellar. "A person might choose to hide there if he had chosen to die... it's so stuffy. The room is also not lit. My client (Tommy) wouldn't hide in there," Juan told reporters outside Tommy's Menteng residence.
Juan had earlier told reporters that police were illegally breaking the floors of Tommy's home, since the police had no warrant from any Jakarta court authorizing them to do so. "The police only have a search warrant. We strongly object to this demolition and will soon take legal action," Juan had told reporters. Meanwhile, Tommy's lawyer Elza Syarief said on Tuesday that Tommy's wife, Ardhia Pramesti Regita Cahyani, was quite upset over the breaking of the floors in Tommy's house.
"She was angry... she's currently in Singapore. She felt hurt that this was being done to the house," Elza told reporters. Elza was questioned as a witness by National Police detectives on Tuesday, over the events leading up to the disappearance of Tommy in November last year. Police, Elza said, focused their questions on "how Tommy was able to escape." "It was obvious they were focusing their questions on this issue... they asked me questions like how many times did Tommy meet with President Abdurrahman Wahid before he disappeared. I told them twice, at the Hotel Borobudur and Hotel Regent late last year," Elza said.
"I told them I had no idea what went on in those two meetings since I wasn't present. The police also asked me how many times did Tommy meet with Hasyim "Gus Im" Wahid before he disappeared. I told them only once, at Gus Im's residence." In November last year, President Abdurrahman rejected Tommy's appeal for a pardon in respect of the conviction imposed by the Supreme Court, reversing a lower court ruling.



Posted in Crime @ 16 January 2001 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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