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Indonesia's ailing Suharto stable: doctor

As the condition of the 86-year-old continued to be monitored closely, his former political party asks the govt to drop all legal cases against him.

world Updated: Jan 07, 2008 12:27 IST

Indonesia's ailing former dictator Suharto was stable and continuing to improve, doctors said on Monday, although he was still in a critical condition with heart, lung and kidney problems.

Suharto was hospitalised three days ago, after falling ill at his home, which he has rarely left since mass protests and economic turmoil in 1998 ended his 32-year iron-grip and often brutal rule in Indonesia.

"There has been no regression, the status quo is still more or less maintained," Marjo Soebiandono, who heads a team of doctors caring for the former leader in Jakarta, told AFP.

As the condition of the 86-year-old continued to be monitored closely, his former political party, the Golkar Party, asked the government to drop all legal cases against him.

"We have sent out a written statement to the various concerned institutions and individuals, including the attorney general and the president, asking that all legal cases against Suharto be dropped," party chairman Theo Sambuaga said.

The official told AFP that the attorney general had the authority to order such a move based on considerations such as the public interest and humanitarian grounds. The statement was sent late yesterday, he added.

Suharto's poor health saw a criminal trial against him for corruption abandoned in 2006, disappointing many keen to see justice over the alleged theft of billions of dollars by Suharto, his family and cronies while in power.

Speaking at a press briefing today, doctor Soebiandono said Suharto's appetite had improved and he was now speaking, and able to urinate without assistance.

"The condition of HM Suharto this morning, shows a lot of progress although his general condition is still weak," he said.