Trump's Indonesian business partner summoned over alleged threats

Hary Tanoesoedibjo was summoned as a suspect on Friday after an investigation was issued against him in June.
Hary Tanoesoedibjo was summoned as a suspect on Friday after an investigation was issued against him in June. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (AFP) - United States President Donald Trump's Indonesian business partner has been questioned by police over alleged threats against a public prosecutor, officials said on Friday (July 7).

Hary Tanoesoedibjo, a media and property mogul who is building two Trump Organisation hotel projects, was summoned as a suspect on Friday after an investigation was issued against him in June, a police spokesman said.

The 51-year-old business tycoon and politician has been named a suspect after police charged him with violating the electronic information and transaction law.

"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.

The billionaire was reported to the police by an attorney named Yulianto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

Mr Yulianto claimed Tanoesoedibyo had threatened him via text messages in January 2016.

The attorney was handling a graft case which involved Mobile-8 Telecom, a telecommunication company owned by Tanoesoedibyo.

Tanoesoedibyo's lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea denied the messages were threats.

"As humans we know what would be considered as threats and what not. What he said is something all politicians do," Mr Hutapea told AFP.

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 Jakarta. Construction on the hotels has not yet begun.

Tanoesoedibyo attended the US President's inauguration in January and described Mr Trump's win as inspiring.

Tanoesoedibyo is now banned from travelling abroad for the next six months, a spokesman for the immigration office told AFP, and if found guilty could be jailed for up to four years.

The billionaire ran in Indonesia's 2014 election as a candidate for vice-president but failed to make it to the final round with his running mate.

He later founded his own political party, with many speculating he might run in the 2019 presidential election.