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Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Prosecutors chase Suharto again
Clashes
The ruling sparked violent protests in Jakarta
Prosecutors have lodged an appeal against the decision to halt the multi-million dollar corruption trial of former Indonesian president Suharto.

A panel of five judges dropped the charges against Mr Suharto last Thursday after an independent team of doctors said Suharto was too ill to stand trial.

Former President Suharto
Mr Suharto: Doctors say is mentally confused

The controversial ruling, which was strongly criticised by President Abdurrahman Wahid, sparked violent riots on the streets of Jakarta.

Mr Suharto was accused of stealing $571m from huge tax-free charity foundations he controlled during his 32-years in power.

But doctors said tests and scans showed a series of strokes had left him brain damaged and he was too confused to answer the charges.

Biased

President Wahid has already lent his support to prosecutors' attempts to appeal against the decision.

Mr Wahid
Mr Wahid: Accused court of bias
Last week he dismissed the ruling as "biased" and asked for an appeal to be heard by uncorrupt judges who were "clean, determined and cannot be bought".

He further added to the controversy by encouraging students to demonstrate and throw stones outside Mr Suharto's Jakarta home .

Unacceptable

In their letter of appeal submitted on Thursday, the prosecutors demanded that the South Jakarta court annul the dismissal and try the case again.

Protester
Student protests - encouraged by the president
A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the prosecutors felt that the doctors' statement that Mr Suharto was permanently unfit to stand trial was unacceptable.

Mr Suharto will be given two weeks to counter appeal. After that both proposals will be submitted to the appeals court, a court official said.

No clemency

On Wednesday Mr Wahid turned down an appeal for clemency from Mr Suharto's youngest son, Tommy, following his conviction in a separate corruption case.

The former playboy is set to serve an 18-month prison sentence once President Wahid issues a decree formally rejecting his pardon plea.

Tommy Suharto is the first member of the massively wealthy Suharto family to be convicted of corruption during his father's rule.

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See also:

29 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid angry over Suharto release
29 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Judges dismiss Suharto case
27 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto convicted
15 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Profile: Suharto's playboy son
29 Sep 00 | Media reports
Press disbelief over Suharto decision
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