Indonesia AG sued for dropping charges against ex-president Suharto

Indonesia AG sued for dropping charges against ex-president Suharto

[JURIST] Several activist groups have sued the attorney general of Indonesia [JURIST news archive] for dropping corruption charges against former President Suharto [CNN profile]. Attorney General Abdul Rahman Saleh dismissed the charges last month [JURIST report] because of the former dictator's health. The lawsuits — filed by the Indonesian Association of Legal Attorneys and Human Rights Counselors, the Advocacy Team for the Trial of Suharto and former student activists — will be heard together, Presiding Judge Andi Samsang Nganro of the South Jakarta district court ruled Monday. The Advocacy Team argues that the charges can be dropped only if the evidence is insufficient or if the defendant dies. Another hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday.

Suharto, ousted from power after 32 years in 1998 amid violent protests against his three-decade dictatorship, was charged with misusing more than half a billion US dollars, including money from charitable foundations that he established. A court ruled in April [JURIST report] that he was unfit to stand trial at age 84 because he had suffered permanent brain damage and could not carry on a conversation. The former strongman was released from a hospital last week [BBC report] after treatment for intestinal bleeding following colon surgery. AFP has more.