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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Sia trial postponed amid new charges

By Frank Cho
Advertiser Staff Writer

The trial of bankrupt Indonesian businessman Sukamto 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.

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, Kelly Randall, 33; brothers, Suwardi, 35, and Sumitro Sukamto, 37; and business associates, Khee Pow Yong, 33, and Johannes Sjah, 51; on Wednesday were named in the 22-count indictment that includes charges in two previous indictments.

The new indictment contains the most serious charges against Sia so far and could mean many more years in prison if convicted.

The defendants are 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.