Indonesia's Suharto in Critical Condition

Former leader's health deteriorating
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2008 11:07 AM CST
An Indonesian protester holds a poster of former Indonesian President Suharto during a demonstration demanding he put on trial for corruption outside the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Suharto, the man who ruled Indonesia with a ruthless resolve for 32 years, is in critical condition with a variety of ailments, BBC reports. President Yudhoyono visited Suharto, who is said to be conscious but drowsy, and told the country to “pray for the best.” The 86-year-old is accused of stealing billions from the treasury during his reign, but he's avoided trials because of his deteriorating health.

Suharto has been in the hospital numerous times since his 1998 ouster with a variety of maladies, including a stroke. He is now on dialysis and requires a second pacemaker operation. Suharto is credited with turning the world's fourth most populous nation into an economic dynamo, even while enriching his own piggy bank.