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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 15:16 GMT
Suharto buried in state funeral
Soldiers load Suharto's coffin on to an aircraft for the flight to Solo
Suharto's flag-covered coffin was flown to Solo for the funeral
Former Indonesian President Suharto, who died on Sunday at the age of 86, has been buried in a state funeral.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono oversaw the ceremony at the Suharto family mausoleum near the city of Solo.

Suharto, who ruled Indonesia for more than three decades, was credited with leading his country from poverty to relative development.

But he was dogged by allegations of corruption, political repression and serious human rights abuses.

Hundreds of thousands of suspected communists were killed as he rose to power in the 1960s.

He was ousted by mass protests in 1998 and in recent years suffered from poor health - one of the reasons why he never faced trial.

Leader's tribute

Early on Monday, the former leader's body was flown from the capital, Jakarta, to Solo in central Java.

RISE AND FALL OF SUHARTO
Born in Java, June 1921
Comes to power in 1965 after alleged Communist coup attempt
Formally replaces Sukarno as president in March 1967
Modernisation programmes in the 70s and 80s raise living standards
East Timor invaded in late 1975
Asian economic crisis of the 1990s hits Indonesian economy
Spiralling prices and discontent force him to resign in May 1998
Judges rule he is unfit to stand trial for corruption in 2000
Transparency International says he tops the world all-time corruption table in March 2004

Soldiers carried his flagged-draped coffin from his residence to a white hearse.

Thousands of people lined streets in both cities to watch the funeral procession pass by.

Mr Yudhoyono began the ceremony at the Suharto family mausoleum, north-east of Solo, just after noon (0500GMT).

"We offer his body and his deeds to the motherland," he said. "His service is an example to us."

Prayers were said and mourners threw flower petals into Suharto's grave.

The former president was laid to rest next to his wife Tien, who died in 1996.

Leaders from around the region attended the ceremony, including Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of East Timor, which was annexed and occupied under Suharto before gaining independence in 2002.

Hitler jibe

Suharto was rushed to hospital on 4 January suffering from various heart, lung and kidney problems.

Former Indonesian President Suharto (file photo)
Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist for three decades

On Sunday he slipped into a coma and died at 1310 (0610 GMT), surrounded by his six children.

Reaction to his death has reflected his mixed legacy, correspondents say.

The US ambassador to Jakarta, Cameron Hume, hailed Suharto as a "historic figure" who "achieved remarkable economic development", while adding that there "may be some controversy over his legacy".

Malaysia's former leader, Mahathir Mohamad, said he had regarded Suharto as "a great leader and... an international statesman", a friend of Malaysia and a personal friend.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Controversy will haunt him but what is over is over
P. Romero, Manila, Philippines

But for political opponents, his death meant a missed opportunity to put him on trial.

"His death is a tragedy for all the victims of his crimes, they will never get justice," said Budiman Sudjatmiko, who was jailed as a student activist.

"He is a perfect criminal - he can be put up there with Pol Pot and Hitler."

Brad Adams, Asia director of the New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch, said Suharto had "gotten away with murder - another dictator who's lived out his life in luxury and escaped justice".



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Former president Suharto's funeral



SEE ALSO
In pictures: Suharto funeral
28 Jan 08 |  In Pictures
Asian press bid Suharto farewell
28 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Suharto: 'Resentment and mourning'
28 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific
What is ex-President Suharto's legacy?
27 Jan 08 |  Have Your Say
The lasting legacy of Suharto
27 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Life in pictures: Indonesia's Suharto
08 Jan 08 |  In Pictures




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