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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted 1 p.m., Monday, May 21, 2001

Financier's trial to be rescheduled

By Frank Cho
Advertiser Staff Writer

The trial of bankrupt Indonesian businessman Su-

kamto Sia, scheduled to begin tomorrow, has been postponed indefinitely after a federal grand jury returned a third indictment charging Sia and five others with conspiracy, fraud and money laundering charges.

The trial was postponed to give Sia's attorneys more time to prepare his defense in light of the new charges.

Sia, along with his girlfriend, two brothers and two business associates, were named in the 22-count indictment Wednesday that includes charges in the two previous indictments.

The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned Friday. Court officials said a new trial date is expected to be set then.

Sia filed for bankruptcy protection Nov. 6, 1998, after he was arrested in Las Vegas on bad check charges and resigned as chairman of the failed Bank of Honolulu.

He was arrested again in Honolulu Aug. 30 for bankruptcy fraud and has been living in Los Angeles under supervised release as he undergoes medical treatment for a lump in his neck.

This is the third time Sia has been indicted since his arrest in August. The new indictment contains the most serious charges yet against him and could mean many more years in prison if he is convicted.

Last week's indictment also named Sia's brothers, Suwardi, 35, and Sumitro Sukamto, 37; associates Khee Pow Yong, 33, and Johannes Sjah, 51; and Kelly Randall, 33.

Frank Cho can be reached by phone at 525-8088, or by e-mail at fcho@honoluluadvertiser.com.