Dictator’s son sues Garuda Indonesia for in-flight mag remark

Garuda A330

A Garuda Indonesia A330 seen in 2009. Photo: AirSpace photographer Commercial Aviation.

Oh those pesky in-flight magazines. Passengers complain when the magazines are not on board and then when the magazines are on board passengers complain the quality is low or that the magazine refers to a late dictator’s son as a murder.

Yes, that’s right, murderer.

Late Indonesian dictator Gen. Suharto’s son, Tommy, is suing Garuda Indonesia for an article in its in-flight magazine Garuda that referred to him as a “convicted murderer”, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Tommy Suharto was found guilty for ordering the assassination of an Indonesian Supreme Court judge and subsequently sentenced to 15 years in jail. He was released in 2006 after serving only five years.

Garuda apparently made the remark in a July 2009 article that reviewed Suharto’s Pecatu Indah Resort on Bali island. The online version of the article appears to have been redacted as it no longer contains the phrase. Suharto’s lawyer contends the reference to his conviction was “not at all relevant to the article,” according to Businessweek, who could not reach Garuda for comment.

This isn’t the first skirmish over an in-flight magazine. Last November easyJet withdrew its magazine after finding some fashion photos were taken in Berlin’s Holocaust memorial.

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