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September 12, 2000
IOC wants jailed leader to attend Games
The International Olympic Committee has lobbied the Indonesian government to allow the jailed head of former President Suharto's investment company to attend the Olympic Games in Sydney, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, quoting Indonesia's Attorney General Marzuki Darusman.
The IOC has written to and appealed to local officials to convey its wish that IOC member Mohamad "Bob" Hasan, who is in jail in Indonesia after being accused of multi-million-dollar fraud during Suharto's 32-year reign, according to Darusman, who is leading corruption probes of the Suharto government.
Hasan's lawyer Augustinus Hutajulu corroborated the attorney general's statement, the paper said.
In seeking his presence at the Games that begin on Friday, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch had written to Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid in April, the report said.
In that letter, he said that Wahid's "continued support for the development of sport and Olympism in Indonesia and to the volunteer officials involved in the sport would be highly appreciated," according to the Journal.
The IOC's support of Hasan has drawn the ire of environmental groups since Hasan was one of the industrialists accused of logging Indonesian rain forests, the paper said.
After being tainted by recent bribery and votes-for-favors scandals, the IOC's position also raises questions about the sincerity of the organization's official proclamations of reform and commitment to the Olympic ideals of democracy, justice and human rights, the Journal said.
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