The south Jakarta district court began a hearing on the lawsuit against former dictator Soeharto here on Thursday, aiming at returning billions U.S dollars allegedly stolen from state during his rule.
Preceding Judges Wahyono offered the state prosecutors and lawyers for Soeharto to try to reach a deal by themselves. The move so called mediation.
According to the law, mediation is a must in civil suit, he told during the 20-minute session.
The judge gave them one month to achieve a deal before they would continue the hearing.
Soeharto allegedly misused education funds collected from state- owed banks, according to a prosecutor of the Attorney General Office Dahmer Munthe.
The former strongman did not channel the funds appropriately through one of his foundations of Supersemar that was established in 1974, said the prosecutor.
During his rule Soeharto had obligated the banks to set aside five percent of their profits for financing scholarships for university students through the foundation, but he channeled a half of the funds to his family and colleagues companies, said Munthe.
Soeharto ruled Indonesia for 32 years and was toppled by a mass riot in 1998 followed the Asian financial crisis.
Previously, Soeharto has been prosecuted for foundation fraud. But the cases have dropped several times by the court and also prosecutor because of his health condition.