Former Indonesia dictator Suharto dies at age 86

[JURIST] Former Indonesian President Haji Mohammed Suharto [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] died Sunday at age 86. Suharto, a former US Cold War ally, presided over what is considered to be one of the most brutal dictatorships of the 20th century with as many as one million political opponents killed during his time in power. Reaction across the country is split with hundreds traveled to Suharto's family home in Jakarta to mourn his death while many others criticized Suharto's corruption and brutality.

In recent years, both Suharto and his son Tommy Suharto [BBC profile] have been subject to a series of corruption charges [BBC backgrounder]. In September, Indonesian prosecutors began court proceedings [JURIST report] against the elder Suharto in a civil action alleging that he embezzled $440 million from the Yayasan Supersemar [official website], a state-funded scholarship fund, between 1974 and 1998. Earlier criminal corruption charges were dropped because Suharto was rendered unable to speak or write [JURIST reports] as a result of several strokes. AP has more.

 

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