Former Indonesian President Suharto Is Dead
Suharto was admitted on 4th January 2008 to Jakarta's Pertamina hospital with symptoms of anemia and low blood pressure. Apparently Suharto had told his family that he did not want to be taken overseas for treatment. He has suffered from various ailments, including intestinal bleeding and strokes, in recent years and been hospitalised on a number of occasions.
Suharto, a former general came to power after a botched 1965 coup attempt blamed on communists. He ruled the world's fourth-most populous country with an iron fist for 32 years, stepped down in 1998 amid political upheaval and a crippling economic crisis that triggered widespread opposition to his regime.
Suharto rarely appears in public. He has lived in seclusion in Jakarta's old money Menteng neighbourhood since he stepped down.
Last year, the Supreme Court ordered Time magazine to pay Suharto more than $100 million in damages in a libel suit.
Time, which is challenging the ruling, published a May 1999 cover story that said the former president and his family had amassed a fortune of around $15 billion. The former president and members of his family have denied that.
Suharto was put on trial in the years after he was pushed from power on charges of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars in state money, but the government dropped the case due to his poor health.
RISE AND FALL OF SUHARTO
** Born in Java, June 1921
** Comes to power in 1965 after alleged Communist coup attempt
** Formally replaces Sukarno as president in March 1967
** Modernisation programmes in the 70s and 80s raise living standards
** East Timor invaded in late 1975
** Asian economic crisis of the 1990s hits Indonesian economy
** Spiralling prices and discontent force him to resign in May 1998
** Indonesia pulls out of East Timor in 1999
** Judges rule he is unfit to stand trial for corruption in 2000
** Transparency International says he tops the world all-time corruption table in March 2004
** In hospital intensive care unit with intestinal bleeding in May 2005
** 'Time' magazine ordered to pay $106m damages after alleging corruption in September 2007
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