Time magazine plans to appeal an order by Indonesia’s Supreme Court to pay $106 million to the country’s controversial former dictator Suharto for a May 1999 cover story that alleges his family amassed billions of dollars during his rule.
“We are extremely disappointed with the Indonesian Supreme Court’s decisions” the magazine said in a statement. “Time will use every avenue available to fight for the defense of press freedoms. We will challenge this judgment by filing with the Court a petition for review.”
Suharto filed a lawsuit against Time in the Central District Jakarta court, and later the Jakarta High Court. Both courts ruled in Time’s favor, but a panel of three Supreme Court judges overturned the decisions on Aug. 31. Time Inc. Asia and six employees were ordered also to issue an apology.
”The decision serves as a dire warning to the media, both foreign and domestic,” the statement said. “Democratic freedoms cannot exist without a free and robust press. We are confident that, in a democracy such as Indonesia, freedom of the press must ultimately prevail.”