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The BBC's Richard Galpin
"The inquiry has been persistently hampered by Mr Suharto's lawyers"
 real 28k

Monday, 29 May, 2000, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Suharto under house arrest
sick
Mr Suharto suffered a stroke last year
Former Indonesian President Suharto, who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars, has been placed under house arrest.

State prosecutors reiterated promises that Mr Suharto would be charged within the next two months.

"His status is changed to house arrest from city arrest starting today," attorney-general spokesman, Yushar Yahya, said on Monday.
Masked protestors outside Suharto's home
Students have protested repeatedly outside his home

Mr Yushar said the move meant state prosecutors would be able to question Mr Suharto every day if he was well enough.

It would also prevent Mr Suharto from "destroying evidence", he added.

The disgraced ex-leader will not be allowed to leave his central Jakarta home for two weeks, but the house arrest could be extended another 30 days after that.

This is to ensure the questioning continues

Yushar Yahya, attorney-general's spokesman

Mr Suharto, who suffered a stroke last year, had already been banned from leaving Jakarta.

His home has been the focus of almost daily protests in recent weeks by students demanding swift action against him.

Charity

The corruption investigation concerns the misuse of millions of dollars belonging to several charitable foundations controlled by the Suharto family during his 32-year reign.

Mr Suharto, 79, has been questioned by investigators at his home.

But they have been forced to cut short their interrogation sessions several times after doctors protested the former president was too ill to continue.

Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman has said the case will go to court by August.

He has also warned Mr Suharto and his family that they will lose their police protection unless they begin co-operating with the investigation.

Pardon

Mr Suharto's lawyer Juan Felix Tampubolon immediately denounced the decision to put him under house arrest as unnecessary.

He said the former president had no plans to leave the city and had been co-operating with the investigation.

He said the move was illegal and politically motivated and that he may consider appealing against it.

Reformist President Abdurrahman Wahid has promised to pardon Mr Suharto if he is found guilty.

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See also:

26 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
Violence breaks out in Jakarta
22 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto 'too ill' for questioning
13 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto placed under 'city arrest'
10 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Doctors stop Suharto questioning
31 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Suharto: Shades of Pinochet?
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