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Habibie: Suharto should face corruption charges JAKARTA - Indonesia's former dictator Suharto should stand trial on charges he embezzled at least US$600 million during his 32-year reign, his successor was quoted Friday as saying. The attorney general's office said recently it was dropping the long stalled graft-case against Suharto, who was overthrown in 1998 amid nationwide riots, citing a heart problem and a series of strokes that left him with brain damage.

But his successor B.J. Habibie told Metro TV the ousted leader should not be allowed to skirt justice. "I think that you have to balance, to look at what he has done for the country, for the people, and what he has done wrong," he said. "And from that you should make a conclusion, a fair conclusion." Asked if that meant he should stand trial, Habibie said: "Yes."

Habibie was vice president when Suharto stepped down. In line with the constitution, he took over the presidency until the country's first free elections were held in 1999, which he contested and lost. The decision to drop charges against Suharto, who is also blamed for massive human rights violations during his tenure, sparked small but rowdy protests. The 85-year-old has denied any wrongdoing and never appeared in court.

Former president Suharto on a file picture.
Former president Suharto on a file picture.




Posted in Corruption @ 01 October 2006 13:21 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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